Trade and Commerce

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In the second episode of their Weekly Tradecast featured in UN News, UNCTAD talks to Paul Akiwumi, Director of the Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programme division. Soaring food and energy prices are hitting especially hard as the region struggles with the impact of the pandemic and climate change. The continent of 1.4 billion people relies heavily on grain and other essentials from Ukraine and Russia – exposing them to shortages and crippling costs that imperil development. Mr. Akiwumi, who led the production of the UN trade and development body’s latest Economic Development in Africa Report, says that to cope with this crisis and insulate itself for the future, Africa must rethink how it diversifies its economies to attract investment and narrow huge income gaps.

Blue BioTrade is the sustainable use and trade of marine resources in a way that improves livelihoods while protecting our ocean.  UNCTAD and partners promote a Blue BioTrade project in the Caribbean region that aims to empower small-scale producers to prepare and trade queen conch products under the Blue BioTrade environmental, social and economic sustainability criteria. Queen conch is a highly appreciated seafood delicacy with important non-food uses.

portrait photo of UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan

“We don't have to be naive, but we have to believe in change, because change has happened. And we can make it happen again.”

Despite monitoring multiple global crises, Rebeca Grynspan has never lost her faith in the power of change. As Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), she is assessing the impact of the war in Ukraine on cash-strapped countries still reeling from the pandemic. A trio of crises – climate change, COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine – are setting global development by decades, with vulnerable countries worst affected by global food and energy shortages. In this episode, Rebeca Grynspan reflects on these setbacks, their disproportionate impact on women, and why the world can never give up on the promise of development.

Photo: ©UNCTAD/Violaine Martin

Women in a sewing workshop

Nafasova Mukaddas is helping to create a sustainable future, literally, one stitch at a time. She has been involved in sewing clothes for the past five years, and her services are in great demand as the next-closest seamstress is 37 kilometres away. She and her husband were able to access small grants through the UNDP-supported, GEF-financed project. The project operates with the understanding that to protect significant biodiversity across the country, work to support local communities is a necessity.

woman in front of computer screen with charts

UNCTAD has appointed new “eTrade for Women advocates” to empower women in the digital economy and promote more inclusive e-commerce ecosystems - the third cohort in its eTrade for Women initiative

composite of photos of people from cooperatives

This 2 July, cooperatives all around the world will celebrate the 100th International Day of Cooperatives. A decade on from the UN International Year of Cooperatives, the United Nations invites cooperatives around the world to celebrate how the human-centred business model is building a better world. Cooperatives represent at least 12% of people on earth who are members of any of the 3 million cooperatives worldwide. They play an important role in addressing the needs of their members and communities and in the process, they contribute towards the implementation of the SDGs. #CoopsDay

a woman sets up a display in a shop

Micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) account for 90% of businesses, 60 to 70% of employment and 50% of GDP worldwide. As the backbone of societies everywhere they contribute to local and national economies and to sustaining livelihoods, in particular among the working poor, women, youth, and groups in vulnerable situations. This year, the ITC marks the 5th anniversary of Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises Day (27 June), when small businesses are more than ever in need of support, as they navigate the impacts of the COVID pandemic, conflicts and the climate crisis.

port manager in Bolivia

UNCTAD’s port management programme helped Bolivia change its port regulations, paving the way for a private operator like Port Jennefer to earn international status.

man with fishing net seen from above

Protecting our ocean and boosting its economic benefits demands a global trade, investment and innovation "Blue Deal" to create a sustainable and resilient ocean economy that benefits all.

seafarer portrait

Four United Nations organizations have issued a joint statement calling for continued global collaboration to address the crew change crisis that, at times during the COVID-19 pandemic, has left more than 400,000 seafarers stranded at sea.

Dr. Joy Kategekwa

The Africa Renewal Podcast is about people, who, through their stories and actions, are advancing hope in Africa. On it you will hear true stories directly from people from within and beyond Africa about the possibilities on the continent.

In the inaugural episode, Joy Kategekwa, a trade law expert who is one of the architects of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), talks about the historic agreement that set the stage for the creation of one single African market for goods and services.

Dr. Joy Kategekwa (Uganda) is the regional strategic advisor to the Assistant Administrator and Director for the Regional Bureau Africa at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

Container terminal in the Port of Osaka, Japan.

A new Asia-Pacific free trade agreement set to enter into force on 1 January 2022 will create the world’s largest trading bloc by economic size, according to an UNCTAD study.

ship on water with gathering clouds

UNCTAD predicts that annual growth in maritime trade between 2022 and 2026 will slow to 2.4%, compared to 2.9% over the past two decades.

men with face masks

In 2021, the global economy will bounce back with growth of 5.3%, the fastest in nearly 50 years. The rebound is, however, highly uneven along regional, sectoral and income lines, according to UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2021.

Portrait of a man with dreads

UNCTAD and Barbados call to photographers everywhere to document a strong narrative of trade and development issues and to share images that showcase trade’s positive impact.