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UNCTAD to host forum on making trade sustainable

02 May 2023, 05:04 pm
Financial Nigeria
UNCTAD to host forum on making trade sustainable

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The event will discuss policies and initiatives that can make trading systems more inclusive, environmentally friendly, and resilient.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) announced today that it will host the third UN Trade Forum on 8–9 May 2023. The event will focus on trade policies that can help countries grow their economies while tackling pressing global challenges and accelerating progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the UN agency, the forum will give particular attention to developing countries, which have been hit hardest by the cascade of global crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the climate emergency.

More than 100 trade experts, policymakers, senior officials from international organizations, business leaders, and civil society representatives are expected to attend the event in Geneva and online to discuss policies and initiatives that can make trading systems more inclusive, environmentally friendly, and resilient.

The topics to be addressed include harnessing new opportunities in the ocean economy, promoting trade preferences among developing countries, ensuring that women benefit equally form e-commerce growth, and encouraging businesses and consumers to adopt more sustainable practices.

During the two-day event, UNCTAD will launch its Trade and Environment Review 2023. The report highlights the vast opportunities ocean holds for developing countries to recover from the current crises and build more innovative and resilient economies.

The ocean economy – which includes traditional sectors such as fishing and shipping as well as emerging ones like offshore wind energy and marine biotechnology – is already worth between $3 trillion and $6 trillion and provides at least 150 million direct jobs.
But marine resources and the livelihoods they support are under threat from climate change, pollution, and overfishing, experts say.

The forum will identify initiatives and policies that can help developing countries to both exploit and protect the ocean of opportunities.

The potential of the global system of trade preferences (GSTP) among developing countries will also be in the spotlight. Brazil’s recent ratification has rekindled interest in the preferential trade agreement, which will enter into force when one more member ratifies it.

UNCTAD established the GSTP more than three decades ago to help developing countries increase trade among themselves and diversify and add value to their exports. Its 42 members represent a market of more than $16 trillion and 20% of global merchandise imports.

The forum will feature new analysis on how competition and consumer protection policies can help countries encourage businesses and people to adopt more sustainable practices.
And UNCTAD will present a new study looking at e-commerce from a gender and development perspective.

Participants will explore the policies needed to guarantee that the benefits of digital technologies and online trade growth reach women as much as men.

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