Friday, December 7, 2012

Sweden to contribute $2.5 million over three years to UNCTAD Investment Programme

Sweden is to contribute 18.3 million Swedish kronor – about $2.5 million – to an UNCTAD trust fund that supports efforts to spur durable, broad-based economic growth in developing countries.
The contribution, announced by the Swedish Government and UNCTAD, will go to UNCTAD’s Capacity-Building in Investment for Development programme. Managed by the Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIAE), Capacity-Building in Investment for Development is a multi-year, multi-donor umbrella trust fund that sponsors a comprehensive package of activities aimed at creating an enabling environment for boosting private-sector development, strengthening the productive capacities of poor countries, and promoting investment that leads to sustainable development.
State secretary of Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs Gunnar Oom said he was pleased to announce the government’s decision to support the UNCTAD programme. "Sweden believes that foreign direct investment benefits both the investing and the recipient country," he said, adding that investments contribute to job creation and enhance economic growth. "Increasing investment is therefore fundamental, both as a response to an economic crisis such as the one we are currently facing, and in combating poverty and creating better living conditions globally. This is the reason why Sweden has given support to the important work done by UNCTAD on investment policy in developing countries for a number of years now, as we believe this is an area where more can be done within the Aid for Trade agenda."
Sweden has been a long-standing partner of UNCTAD in the area of investment for development, with an annual contribution of $700,000 on average in support of UNCTAD's World Investment Report and its Investment Policy Reviews.
The World Investment Report is an influential publication that is downloaded over 200,000 times each year by users from 171 countries. Some 55 per cent of readers are from 136 developing countries. Sweden is also a major contributor to the Investment Policy Reviews (IPRs) carried out by DIAE. So far, IPRs have been undertaken in 36 developing countries, and over 200 key recommendations contained in the reviews have been implemented with the assistance of UNCTAD.
Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise James Zhan, on the occasion, said that they are most grateful to the government of Sweden for its support. "Donor countries’ support for multi-year, multi-donor projects is key to the success of our technical assistance programmes on investment and productive capacity-building for poverty alleviation," he said, adding that their  significant impact on sustainable development, based on field-proven and result-based strategic management, is now widely acknowledged."

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