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Joahannesburg Summit 2002
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Sweden Announces New Support for Initiatives to Strengthen Trade for Development

Johannesburg, 3 September — Sweden announced today that it would contribute $640,000 to UNCTAD for capacity building in developing countries on issues in international investment agreements.

As part of the follow-up to the World Trade Organization's Doha meeting last November, the UNCTAD project seeks to assist developing countries and economies in transition to bolster the relationship between trade and investment. Sweden also announced a pledge of $213,000 for UNCTAD's project on good governance in investment promotion and facilitation.

The WTO meeting in Doha was considered pivotal in putting development concerns at the center of global trade negotiations, and trade issues have played a central position in the negotiations in the World Summit on Sustainable Development, where countries have already agreed upon the need to enhance the benefits of trade liberalization for developing countries through the development of technology and capacity building.

Sweden announced its new support for the UNCTAD programmes during high-level consultations between business and government leaders that took place in parallel to the Summit.

UNCTAD, the UN's principal body working to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to attract investment and trade, established the programme on international investment agreements to provide developing countries and economies in transition with research and policy analysis and development, along with human and institutional capacity-building. It offers intensive training courses, workshops on negotiation facilitation and WTO issues, and technical assistance for institution-building in the area of foreign investment. The activities are intended to help beneficiary countries better evaluate the implications for their development policies and objectives of closer multilateral cooperation in the area of long-term cross-border investment, particularly foreign direct investment.

UNCTAD's work programme on good governance is intended to facilitate and encourage investment by both national and foreign companies by streamlining investment procedures and introducing client-oriented and transparent administrative systems. The first phase began with five least developed countries: Ethiopia, Lesotho, Maldives, Mali and Tanzania.

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24 August 2006