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Slovenian Minister Žiga Turk and State Secretary Andrej Šter at Twelfth session of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

© by Duncan Walker

Dr Žiga Turk, the Slovenian Minister for Growth, and Andrej Šter, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are taking part in the Twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII) in Ghana. Dr Turk participated in the meeting of high-level representatives, where the main discussion topic was development possibilities in Africa.

In his address, Dr Turk stressed that improving economic management and the investment environment is essential for building up the economic power and competitiveness of Africa. “The development of national markets and regional integration are key to developing larger and more integrated markets,” he said, placing emphasis on EU support to African countries.

Dr Turk went on to point out the importance of the Economic Partnership Agreements currently being negotiated between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries as a good example of an effective instrument for promoting regional integration and economic development. The aim of the Economic Partnership Agreements is to encourage South-South trade as well as North-South trade, and to support the gradual integration of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries into the international trade system.

In the margins of the Conference, the State Secretary at Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrej Šter, participated in the launching of the United Nations Chief Executives Board Inter-agency cluster on trade and productive capacity. He said that the European Union welcomes the initiative, whose task is to assist developing countries and regions in overcoming the barriers they are facing. On behalf of the EU, Mr Šter expressed the conviction that building up trade and production capacity in developing countries within the international community is of fundamental importance for promoting economic growth and development and reducing poverty.

“The Inter-agency cluster on trade and productive capacity will operate in important areas, such as the need for effective investments and other measures at national level, since investments, foreign direct investments and competitiveness policies play an important role in building up productivity and production capacity,” said Mr Šter, speaking in support of open and flexible membership of the cluster on trade and productive capacity. Current members of the cluster are UNCTAD, UNIDO, FAO, WTO, UNDP and ITC.


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Date: 25.04.2008