DOHA–The persistence of commodity dependence is an indication of adverse effects of economic vulnerability in many developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), said Amb. Ali Mchumo in his statement at the UNCTAD XIII conference held recently in Doha. DECLARATION
“Finding new ways to take these countries out of the cycle of commodity dependence will require practical innovation and replication of successful interventions, so that commodity dependent countries can take advantage of the emerging opportunities in commodity markets,” he said.
Amb. Mchumo stressed that context-specific and targeted policy actions can unlock market-driven replication of success leading to self-reinforcing cycle of economic growth in commodity sectors, if opportunities can be taken as close as possible to primary producers, while keeping the door open for the private sector and financial investors.
The subject of commodities is back on the international development agenda and since the use of buffer stocks to control volatility in commodity markets, as envisioned in UNCTAD IV was never operationalized, the international community is again, searching for a new framework for collective action to support commodity dependent developing countries, LDCs and other vulnerable groups.
Prior to the opening of the conference, the Common Fund hosted an LDC ministerial meeting in partnership with UNCTAD’s Division on LDCs (ALDC). The main objective the meeting was to inform ministers about the theme and sub-themes of the conference, as well as the significance and possible implication of the outcome document for the respective countries. Ministers discussed policy issues with a special focus on trade and development, as well as problems posed by the global markets for commodity dependent LDCs and graduation from LDC status.
“In the light of the financial and economic crisis, we have all been reminded that this influence poses diverse challenges for LDCs. We need to look at new opportunities for sustained growth within the commodity sector,’’ Amb. Mchumo stated.
He listed a number of intervention areas, where practical policy actions such as: entrepreneurship; production technologies; market development and access; responsive policy implementation; and accessibility to knowledge management and information, can be economically beneficial to emerging growth countries.
He also noted that increasing productivity and achieving sustainable growth require regular and effective sources of financing and resource mobilization from all development partners. “The re-orientation of development financing has deep implications for development policies, and the formulation of new models of cooperation still presents a considerable challenge to the international community. Going forward, the main challenge facing us is formulating a new consensus for supporting policies for commodity dependent countries, which are victims of vulnerability caused by commodity market volatility and dependence,’’ he said. [END/2012]