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Monday, 08 September 2008

Aid for Trade

An Industrial Agenda for Least Developed Countries

Vienna, 8 September 2008 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in close collaboration with the World Trade Organization (WTO), will hold a two-day Workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, starting today. The aim of the workshop is to deliberate on how to translate Aid for Trade (AfT) into concrete actions, aimed at accelerating the industrial transformation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The Workshop is a part of the preparatory process for the Conference of the Ministers of Industry from the LDCs which will be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from 19-20 November 2008.

The Workshop brings together high-level officials from Ministries of Industry, technical representatives and experts in the field of trade and industrial policy, as well as representatives from UN Agencies and special bodies, multilateral organisations, regional development finance institutions, and donors. It will make recommendations for the Siem Reap Ministerial Conference. Once adopted at the Conference, they will be integrated into UNIDO’s Comprehensive Supply-Side Approach.

The Workshop highlights UNIDO’s commitment to the AfT and Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)  programmes and provides a participatory mechanism for reviewing the practical issues of its assistance to LDCs. Apart from UNIDO’s concept for mainstreaming AfT and EIF in its development support, and a comprehensive supply-side approach, participants will discuss UNIDO’s prioritized areas of support, including agribusiness and private sector development. The EIF pilot programmes prepared by UNIDO for Benin, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, and Yemen will be presented and discussed. The experiences of Cambodia and Rwanda will be shared with other LDCs. 

Donors will have the opportunity to illustrate their assistance to LDCs in trade-related productive capacity building, and their future plans. UN agencies, Regional Commissions, multilateral organizations, and regional development finance institutions will also present details of their programmes.

In recent years, many LDCs have achieved encouragingly high rates of economic growth, partly due to the commodity price boom, and also to favourable trade preferences. However, these achievements are clouded by the fact that commodity dependence does not provide a sound basis for sus¬tai¬nable growth. They also still face many constraints which stifle their efforts to achieve economic transformation and integrate into the global economy. For these countries, transformation can only result from a positive response by the productive sector, macro-economic stability, and effective participation in the global value chain.

The previous LDCs Ministerial Conference, organized by UNIDO in collaboration with the Group of 77 and held in Vienna from 29 to 30 November 2007, explored at length how the opportunities emerging from such new instruments as AfT and EIF could be used to help LDCs.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. George Assaf
UNIDO Spokesperson
Tel. + 43 1 26026 3849

To download the original press release, click here.