ISTANBUL, 9 May 2011 – Developing productive capacities and trade as a key component of inclusive and sustainable growth was the focus of an event organized by UNIDO and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), on behalf of the UN Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, at the Fourth Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul today.
It was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of several UN agencies, including the Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella.
Participants agreed on the main aims of the UN Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity and presented a joint concept note. The Cluster was created in 2008 as a mechanism to coordinate the work of United Nations agencies and spur economic growth, reduce poverty, and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in the LDCs.
The Cluster concept note calls on the international community to “deliver on existing commitments and increase the allocation of official development assistance to ensure more support to the production and trading sectors and develop new financing mechanisms, including through domestic resource mobilization to back the development of productive capacities and business opportunities.”
The concept note urges for increased industrialization efforts through “enhancing the economic diversification of LDCs by promoting domestic value-added processes as a core element of the manufacturing and services sectors.” This includes fostering “at all levels a strong enabling environment to enhance long-term agricultural production and productivity in LDCs based on public and private investment, adequate rural infrastructure and the development of strong and sustainable agricultural value chains, including through the promotion of agro-industries and agribusiness, and improving access of farmers to markets”.
The concept note also recommends expanding “access to reliable and modern energy services for productive use” and refocusing “economic and finance policies aimed at promoting both domestic and foreign investment that enhances the productive, technological and trading capacities of developing countries, in particular LDCs”.
The UN Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity Cluster is preparing to launch a project to develop a more advanced tourism industry in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. It will focus on the manufacture and sale of handicrafts (especially silk goods) and organic agriculture, both through tourism and export.
The project, “Enhancing sustainable tourism, clean production and export capacity in Lao PDR,” will be funded by the Government of Switzerland and implemented jointly by UNIDO, UNCTAD, the International Trade Centre, the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Office for Project Services.
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