The World Bank Group and UNCTAD have announced renewed cooperation in the areas of investment and trade. The announcement came following the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group 2016 Spring Meetings in Washington.
“UNCTAD and the World Bank Group have a long tradition of partnership and the World Bank Group is an important partner with UNCTAD in its technical assistance activities,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said. “This enhanced partnership on key strategic areas capitalizes even more on respective comparative advantages, and maximizes effectiveness in the implementation of programmes.”
The two organizations plan to enhance collaboration in their efforts to boost trade, growth and competitiveness in developing countries. Trade, investment and support to the private sector in developing countries, is key to the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to the UNCTAD objective of ensuring prosperity for all and to the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
“Economic growth, with strong contributions from the private sector, has been critical to reducing poverty around the world. We look forward to working closely with UNCTAD to ensure that trade and investment are key drivers of that growth, and not only have an impact on economies, but also on citizens,” said Anabel Gonzalez, World Bank Group Senior Director for Trade & Competitiveness.
Building on the success of joint activities in Eastern Europe and Kenya, the World Bank Group and UNCTAD will collaborate on investment policy, drawing on UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Reviews and the new World Bank Group’s investment Policy and Promotion Analytical frameworks. Both organizations aim to support private sector development and help to improve investment policies in developing countries. By joining forces, the two institutions will help governments to implement reforms that improve the investment climate and harness investment for sustainable development.
In the area of services policy, the two organizations will collaborate to strengthen the advice and reform support provided to developing countries. A priority will be leveraging the strengths of the two organizations in this area, building on UNCTAD’s Services Policy Reviews and the World Bank Group’s Regulatory Assessment toolkit and Valuing Services in Trade toolkit.
UNCTAD and the World Bank Group will also step up cooperation to increase transparency on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and streamline regulations for trade. The two organizations have successfully worked together in this area in Tajikistan, Central America and several countries in Sub Saharan Africa.
With regard to trade facilitation, UNCTAD and the World Bank Group are recognized in the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) as key providers of technical assistance and capacity building, along with other international organizations. Harnessing new and existing opportunities for further cooperation in the delivery of support for TFA implementation will serve the ultimate objective of boosting international trade, and economic growth and development.