Thursday, December 5, 2013

LLDCs, transit countries should should join hands

Nepal stressed on strengthening of confidence, collaboration and cooperation between the landlocked countries and their transit neighbours to get unfettered access to sea as its basic need of landlocked countries like Nepal.
Addressing the meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), organised at the margin of the ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Bali today morning, trade, commerce and supplies, and finance minister Shanker Prasad Koirala said that that LLDCs are facing structural problems like lack of direct territorial access to sea, isolation from international market and poor transport and transit infrastructure resulting in low share of global trade, lack of diversification of products and markets and marginalization.
"The high transport and trade transaction costs constitute serious impediments to trade competitiveness, equitable access to global markets and beneficial integration of economies into the world economy," he said, adding that construction of transport and transit infrastructures, their proper maintenance, and enhancement of trade facilitation measures are of critical importance for LLDCs. "We are of the view that bilateral, sub-regional and regional approaches to transit and transport cooperation can go a long way in providing more efficient and competitive choices to LLDCs like Nepal."
Koirala also underscored that the concerns and special needs of LLDCs deserve special attention within the umbrella of Multilateral Trading System. Expressing hopes that the proposed Trade Facilitation Agreement would be helpful in lowering transaction costs, ensuring full freedom of transit and placing strict limits on fees as well as allowing expedited movement, release and clearance of goods, he stressed on trade facilitation measures, in particular those related to transit and transport, are important for growth and expansion of the external trade of LLDCs
Referring to the Comprehensive Ten-Year Review Conference on the Implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action for LLDCs (APoA) to be held next year, Koirala stated that the Review can be an opportune occasion for the international community to critically consider all the unique challenges LLDCs face.
The meeting chaired by the vice minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay Federoco Gonzalez, was attended by the secretary-general of UNCTAD Mukhisa Kituyi, and ministers and senior officials from LLDCs. The meeting also adopted a Ministerial Communique.

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