18 April 2012
‘For developing countries, the services sector is a new frontier for the expansion of trade, productivity and competitiveness’ – Ransford Smith
The Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will host a high-level meeting in Doha on Thursday, 19 April, focusing on how to integrate developing countries into the global services economy.
The Global Services Forum takes place just prior to UNCTAD XIII, which begins in the Gulf state of Qatar on 21 April.
The forum is expected to attract 500 participants, including ministers, policy-makers, trade negotiators and regulators, private sector contributors, services sector stakeholders and service industries representatives.
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith, who will speak at the forum opening session, said: “Worldwide, the services sector is contributing an increasing share to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment. It has also shown remarkable resilience during the financial and economic crisis.
“Such resilience has encouraged many countries to give increased attention to services development in their post-crisis efforts to reduce their economies’ vulnerability to external shocks. For developing countries, the services sector is a new frontier for the expansion of trade, productivity and competitiveness.”
Noting that services are key to providing basic needs such as education, health, water and sanitation, Mr Smith said their potential to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development as well as employment and growth is “considerable”.
The opening session will be chaired by the President of UNCTAD XIII, Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Qatar.
Other speakers include Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, and Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org).
The forum will explore strategies for expanding trade in services for developing countries through building the productive and export capacity of services and removing trade barriers.
UNCTAD XIII takes place at a time of global economic shifts with the so-called BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – showing unprecedented growth rates over the past decade.
At the same time, the global economic and financial crisis has impacted negatively on growth in advanced economies.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has been working with UNCTAD for several years on promoting trade and development between emerging economies and the world’s poorest countries.
Earlier this month, the Secretariat held a joint meeting with leading international trade and development specialists to discuss greater opportunities for trade and aid flows among developing economies.
On 25 April, during UNCTAD XIII, discussions will be taken further at a special event hosted by the Unit on Economic Co-operation Integration Among Developing Countries at UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
‘Dynamic Developing Economies and LDCs: Integrating the South’ will explore how Least Developed Countries – or LDCs – can benefit from new opportunities for collaboration with emerging economies.
Dear organizers. What are the benefits for skilled labourers who are participating in the development of the the structures of the countries? What do you have planed for their betterment of life? Do you think you are seriously doing enough regarding their requirements according to their current demands? thanks with best regards, syed abidi
This is very important forum which seems to be all inclusive and will incorprate all sectors of development which is key for any developing country like Zambia and its continued advocacy for PPP