2017 Sep. 27 08:00 AM
2017 Sep. 27 10:00 AM


Geneva, Switzerland


Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Office of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) in Geneva and United

UNIDO/FAO/ACP Session at the WTO Public Forum 2017

The WTO is hosting this year's Public Forum under the theme: “Trade: Behind the Headlines”. The event taking place in Geneva from 26-28 September will examine the realities of trade – the opportunities it offers and the challenges it can bring. It will provide a platform for key stakeholders to consider how to make trade more inclusive.

On 27 September, UNIDO, together with the FAO and the Office of the ACP in Geneva, will be organizing a session on "Agricultural trade in the new era: the relevance of agribusiness and agro-industry for the 2030 Agenda and for ensuring more inclusive trade".


Many developing countries, particularly those with large rural communities, suffer from inadequate access to food and lack of decent employment. The problem is compounded by the dependence on outdated and inefficient technologies leading to poor productivity and slow economic growth. These countries have also not sufficiently benefited from the opportunities international trade offers and the potential contribution of agro-enterprises to food security, employment generation and economic growth remains unexploited. It is worthwhile noting in this regard that agriculture-based products account for half of all exports from developing countries, yet only 30 per cent of those exports involve processed goods compared to a figure of 98 per cent in the developed world.

As the agriculture sector remains the backbone of economic activity, employment and livelihoods in large parts of the developing world, strengthening the sector and adding value to agricultural commodities will be instrumental in enhancing food security, stimulating trade-led economic growth and reducing poverty in a sustainable manner. This is fully recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA3), and in other global and regional initiatives.

Against this backdrop, the session will examine the following:

- What is the potential of agribusiness and agro-industry for transforming rural economies in a way that they can be a driving force in attaining relevant SDGs – and more especially in making trade more inclusive?

- What concretely are the main challenges with regard to integrating rural economies in the global value chain and how to address them?

- How best to mainstream the issues of rural economies in the ongoing dialogues on trade and development?

The objective is to discuss experiences from the ground and assess the potential of initiatives like 3ADI+ for rendering trade more inclusive.

The session will highlight the impact of technology, targeted investments and upgrading of value chains on agriculture production and trade; particularly in the developing countries.

The deployment of new technologies in production, processing and marketing has transformed the agriculture sector from a rural-based to a dynamic contributor to the GDP while providing new investment opportunities. A focus on value addition, reduction of waste and integration in regional and global value chains is resulting in the commercialization of agriculture in developing countries, which may impact the global trade flows in the sector.


- Moderator: Marwa Joel Kisiri, Head, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), Geneva Office

- Mohammad Pervaiz Malik, Minister for Commerce and Textile, Pakistan

- Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Director, FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in Geneva

- Frank Hartwich, Industrial Development Officer, United Nations Industrial Development Organization

- Zubair Tufail, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry