BUDAPEST, 25 October - LI Yong, the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has travelled to Hungary to attend the International Trade Centre’s flagship event, the World Export Development Forum (WEDF).
WEDF 2017 is co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. The forum’s theme this year is A force for good: Include, Innovate, Integrate, reflecting the importance of illustrating how trade and open markets can support inclusive development and help to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Speaking at a high-level plenary session on “Making trade work for the 99%”, Director General Li referred to UNIDO’s mandate to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development to achieve shared prosperity and environmental sustainability around the world. He emphasized that the driver of trade is the capacity to produce goods that meet the demands of markets in competitive ways. UNIDO supports countries to do this in line with international agreements and market demands.
In addition to high-level plenaries and practical working sessions, one of the main features of the WEDF this year is facilitated business-to-business meetings around agricultural technologies. DG Li highlighted that UNIDO places a strong emphasis on linking agriculture with agro-processing through supporting agribusiness, providing training, and advising on industrial modernization and upgrading. Using new technologies and business models that can be used to fit the context and ensuring inclusiveness through all programmes and partnerships is core to UNIDO’s approach.
UNIDO’s technical cooperation portfolio consists of 850 projects distributed over around 100 countries with a total budget of US$1.3 billion. Examples brought forward during discussions included UNIDO’s contribution to trade capacity building in Ghana, vocational training and women’s entrepreneurship programmes in Egypt and industrial park development in Ethiopia.
During his two-day official visit to Budapest, the Director General is also holding meetings with a range of ministers and high-level officials.