DEVELOPMENT: Global Challenges Require Innovative Partnerships

Published on IPS, by IPS Correspondents, December 02, 2009.

NAIROBI, Dec 2 (IPS) – The High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation kicked-off here Tuesday, with U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro calling for practical solutions and reinforced South-South and North-South partnerships to address the demands of our deeply interconnected world …

… “South-South Cooperation is an alternative development effort, it is a instrument of promoting self-reliance,” he emphasised.

“There is huge potential for South-South trade,” Yiping Zhou, director of the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation within the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), told IPS.  

South-South trade has grown by an average 13.4 percent per year since 1995, reaching 2.4 trillion dollars, and equivalent to 20 percent of world trade in 2007. Forty percent of global trade now originates from emerging market and developing countries.

During the same period, the share of African exports to elsewhere in the South increased by an average of seven percent per year. Combined annual African exports to India and China rose to about 40 billion dollars.

Two new reports of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlight the current trends.

According to the Secretary General’s reports, total outgoing flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) from developing nations hit a record 253 billion dollars in 2007, constituting about one-eighth of the world total. More than 40 percent of developing country FDI is invested in the 49 economically vulnerable least developed countries (LDCs).

“Development does not occur in a vacuum,” Migiro said as she conveyed greetings from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the outset of the High-Level Conference here. “It has proved to be most successful when coupled with strategies to increase cross-border trade and investment” … (full text).

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