GENERAL CONFERENCE, TENTH SESSION Summary of 1st plenary meeting (1 Dec. 2003, a.m.)

  Summary of 1st Plenary Meeting
(1 Dec. 2003, a.m.)

Agenda item 1 Opening of the session
(High–level segment/eminent speakers)


Austria (Foreign Minister)

  • Underlined the importance to develop a strong private sector.
  • Emphasized the importance of capacity building and investment promotion.
  • Trade and development are important; developing countries should have a fair share of trade,
  • Attracting FDI is crucial,
  • The WTO – UNIDO agreement signed in Cancun is a major step for the Organization.
  • Stressed the importance of UNIDO’s activities in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy, including participation in GFSE and REEP.
  • Needed to reduce the cost of renewable energy sources.
  • Underlined the importance o f the Cleaner production programme towards industrial development and sustainability.
  • Needs for more donors to the CP programme
  • Support to the information technology and biotechnology programmes of UNIDO

Timor-Leste (President)

  • Funds should be allocated to improve storage/processing and distribution of agricultural commodities.
  • Assistance needed to increase production of agricultural commodities that could be produced locally.
  • Focus should be on encouraging SMEs in agro–industries (food processing, building materials, etc.
  • Need FDI to compensate the lack of employment,
  • In globalization, trade and competitiveness are crucial to enter in the international market
  • Hoped that UNIDO would contribute to poverty reduction by helping to build up the private sector for job creation and improved living conditions.
  • Are preparing the 2020 Development Vision

Madagascar (President)

  • 80% of population is dependant on agriculture.
  • Need to focus on development of an integrated value chain for agro-products and promotion of commercial agriculture.
  • Assistance required in storage, handling, processing and distribution.
  • Measures required to promote foreign investment in food production/ fisheries and animal production and processing.
  • Need for promotion of agro-based SMEs.
  • Creation of SMEs would foster the growth of the private sector.
  • Marketing strategy needed to attract investment
  • LDCs need Foreign Direct Investment to escape from their poverty trap;
  • Madagascar wants to attract FDI,
  • Investment should be integrated into the value chain of agro-industries, mining and tourism,
  • Madagascar wishes to develop a good public/private partnership,
  • Africa needs to improve its business climate, technology transfer capacities and train new generations of entrepreneurs,
  • Partnership, technology transfer and investment are important for Africa.
  • Exhorted technology transfer and investment through a more effective UNIDO representation on the ground.

Sierra Leone (Vice-President)

  • 6% growth recorded in the agro-sector.
  • Wants to sign IP, where there is an agro-component and emphasis on post-crisis assistance to enable development of the private sector, to help the country emerge from its current post-conflict economic standstill.
  • Need to transform natural resources into tradable goods
  • Hoped that, with the support of UNIDO, private-sector led manufacturing would advance the economy.

United Republic of Tanzania (Prime Minister)

  • All SMEs are agro-based.
  • All agro-commodities currently sold as primary raw materials.
  • Assistance required to process produce and market value-added agro-products.
  • Past UNIDO assistance in area of fruits and vegetables generated an increase in fruit processing and production.
  • Additional resources need to be made available to UNIDO to increase assistance for reduction of post-harvest fruit losses.
  • Starting SMEs and developing the private sector played a critical role in the country’s economic development, with entrepreneurial culture a key element in achieving this goal.
  • Called for establishment of a network of credit for SMEs.
  • Cited UNIDO’s long-standing TC assistance to SMEs in Tanzania, in particular to women entrepreneurs, as a success story. The relation between MDGs and international trade is inevitable,
  • International trade and FDI contributes to reduce poverty,
  • Removal of trade barriers contributes to poverty eradication,
  • Support the WTO-UNIDO agreement signed in Cancun,
  • Developing countries should strengthen their supply side and increase their market shares,
  • FDI should be attracted into Africa, but not so much has been happening so far,
  • There are some conditional prerequisites to attract FDI,
  • UNIDO help poor nations to produce with added value and sell in the international markets, such as processed coffee instead of green coffee
  • Called on donor countries to ensure the continuation of this and other programmes by making available necessary resources.

Panama (Vice President)

  • Industrial sector has been drastically reduced. thousand of jobs has been lost.
  • Future industrial development need better technical export to use technologies,
  • Regions compete to attract FDI, Asian countries are good examples in setting appropriate policies,
  • There is a need for coherent and integrated industrial development policies
  • Panama needs national policies with greater importance on R&D, quality and metrology to increase exportable goods,
  • Thanks UNIDO to assist Panama in technical assistance in the field of market access for Central American countries,
  • Need to strengthen national structures for quality and metrology,
  • Global market offers great opportunities.
  • To achieve industrial development, exports needed to be increased from the agro-sector.
  • Need to improve entrepreneurial management/ quality assurance in the agro-industrial sector.
  • Pointed out that SME development played an important role in advancement industrial development.
  • Requested UNIDO to enhance entrepreneurial and managerial skills, in particular in agro-industries, to fight poverty and strengthen the private sector.

Indonesia (Governor)

  • Private sector is the locomotive of economic development
  • Indnesia appreciates the signing of the Country Service Framework.
  • More UNIDO's assistance for industrial development needed

Chile (Governor)

  • Upcoming global biotechnology forum in Chile was important as biotechnology opened opportunities in forestry and agriculture.
  • Supported growth of the private sector through upgrading entrepreneurial skills, which will built up a competitive business society.
  • There is a link between the increase of standard of living and science and technology,
  • In the 21st century, many free trade agreements will be signed but the importance is in the innovation put in the goods,
  • It is scientific progress that is important,
  • Great opportunities will be available through the opening of international market.

Turkey (Minister)

  • Noted improvement in technical cooperation delivery.
  • Commended UNIDO’s pioneering work in promoting hydrogen energy technologies.
  • Announced the recent establishment of the International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies.
  • Wanted to strengthen and expand areas of technical cooperation with UNIDO.
  • Commended existing relationship with UNIDO in area of food safety study tours organized in Turkey and supported by the Turkish Government.
  • Turkey had long supported private sector development.
  • Ongoing Turkish-funded regional programme promoting SMEs in NIS countries has led to concrete results, with business centres already established in Bishkek and Tashkent, with one in Baku, Azerbaijan, upcoming.
  • Stressed the importance of field representation as component of technical cooperation delivery and favoured decentralization.
  • It will continue to support the UNIDO Centre for Regional Cooperation in Turkey

Mr. R Ricupero (Secretary-General, UNCTAD)

  • Stressed the need to build supply-side capacity in developing countries.
  • The international community is not willing to deal with trade and development; it is not a favorable atmosphere,
  • UNIDO is twin sister of UNCTAD because they were born with the same problematic.
  • UNCTAD XI will address how to improve the coherence of development on one side, and finance and trade on the other,
  • Should develop mechanism to promote finance and trade,
  • FDI does not go to highly indebt countries, they need ODA and Trade. But trade is one side of the coin; the other is the supply capacity,
  • Peace and development are indivisible,
  • Pope VI: development is another name for peace.

Mr. J Sachs (Earth Institute Columbia University/Director)

  • UNCTAD and UNIDO were created in 1960s to point development at the center of the agenda,
  • The MDGs can be done but will not be met on the basis of business as usual,
  • Three pillars to meet the MDGs: (1) development of policies within the countries, (2) international system that can promote export and provide market access, (3) increase public investment in basic infrastructure and social.
  • Emphasized the importance of laying down the infrastructure for investment in nutrition and health care in developing countries.