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Date: 26 Apr 2012
Title: Developing nations have a lot to offer
Pretoria - Developing countries have a lot to offer in terms of making a meaningful contribution to the economic development and growth discourse, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
"There is great value in developing new thinking and forging a new dialogue on appropriate strategies for economic growth and development in developing countries in light of the shortcomings of mainstream economic thinking on the subjects that have been exposed during the recent crisis.
"There is urgent need to draw on these experiences to construct a new, more relevant paradigm for development," said Davies.
The minister was speaking at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) XIII Conference, held in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday.
He said there were examples of successful policy programmes and measures that some developing countries have undertaken to overcome structural constraints and employment creating growth and development paths.
Davies said South Africa believed that UNCTAD could play a positive role in providing technical and policy support for the integration of the African continent.
"African countries have embarked on an ambitious agenda to promote development integration across large parts of the continent, based on combining market integration with programmes for infrastructure development and cooperation to develop value added productive sectors.
"We are of the view that UNCTAD could play a positive role in ensuring that this agenda is successful, said Davies.
The minister stated that rapid increases in trade and investment flows amongst developing countries in the past few years offered new opportunities for growth and development.
"UNCTAD can play a supporting role in identifying ways to ensure that such investment and trade supports sustainable development, builds cooperation, avoids destructive competition, and overturns entrenched patterns of trade wherein raw materials are exchanged for high value-added manufactured products."
Davies said South Africa and other developing countries believed that there was a need for a deepened structured engagement on protectionism and its impact on international production, trade, finance, investment and technology.
"Of particular importance in our view, is the need to arrive at an appropriate shared understanding from a developmental perspective of the distinction between protectionism and the use of legitimate policy measures to promote industrial development and employment.
"At a time when the global economy is in crisis, the Doha trade round is at an impasse and multilateralism is under challenge, it is vital for UNCTAD to strengthen its role of policy dialogue, consensus building and capacity building in developing countries." - BuaNews