Trade and industrial policy experts have assembled in Kigali for a two-day seminar at Serena Hotel to deliberate on how to translate Aid for Trade into concrete action. The move is intended to accelerate industrial transformation in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
It follows the LDC Ministers’ declaration during the first LDCs Ministerial conference of 2007 in Vienna, calling for United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to help them achieve sustainable industrial development.
The Deputy Director General of UNIDO, Yoshiteru Uramoto, explained that in recognising the importance of trade to economic growth, many countries have tried to encourage LDCs to export more and that there’s still much to be tackled for this to be realized.
“LDCs today comprise almost 800 million people of the world population, however, their contribution to world Gross domestic Product (GDP) is barely half of one percent,” he pointed out.
“On almost every indicator of development, LDCs lag way behind the more developed countries. However, the dialogue will give concrete shape to the supply-side needs of the LDCs as a way of facilitating trade,” Uramoto added.
He also noted that since the language of globalisation is full of promises and fewer actions, such dialogues for action plans were necessary.
The Minister of Commerce Monique Nsanzabaganwa, said that the dialogue would also provide recommendations for the Siam Reap Ministerial conference scheduled for November this year.
Once the recommendations are adopted, it is expected that they will be integrated into UNIDO’s comprehensive supply side approach that ensures sustainable supply of LDC products in international trade.
The workshop also highlighted UNIDO’s commitment to the Aid for Trade and Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) programmes with Rwanda among the eight countries selected to experience the pilot programme.
Participants who also included United Nation agencies, multilateral organisations and donors, discussed UNIDO’s priority areas of support such as private sector development and agribusiness in conformity with international market standards.
Donors illustrated their assistance to LDCs in trade-related productive capacity building, and their future plans.