unctad.org | Expert Meeting on Building Productive Capacities
Expert Meeting on Building Productive Capacities
04 - 06 September 2006

Key Issues

The Expert Meeting will identify successful policies and approaches to building productive capacity and international competitiveness in developing countries. These include polices aiming to:

  • attract foreign direct investment (FDI),
  • support technology transfer,
  • enhance enterprise development and
  • maximize the benefits of FDI.

The Meeting will review the principal supply side constraints facing local firms in developing countries and the impact they have had on exports and FDI.

Ongoing reforms in developing countries have not always yielded expected benefits in terms of successful integration into the global economy. Enterprises in many developing countries are often unable to respond to emerging opportunities. It is now widely recognized that benefiting from globalization requires a complementary set of capacity-building policies to address the supply-side constraints faced by local firms. Overcoming such constraints involves sustained development efforts and enhanced official development assistance (ODA). At the same time, FDI can contribute to productive capacity development when combined with policies promoting productive investment, technology transfer, enterprise development and the consolidation of productive chains.

The need to enhance linkages between overseas development assistance (ODA) and FDI is important, and the Meeting will consider ways in which assistance can help build capacity in developing countries, particularly in the promotion of entrepreneurship, and increase enterprise competitiveness through technology and business linkages.

The Meeting will also emphasize the need for integrated treatment of policy areas and policy coherence, based on UNCTAD´s experience in investment policy reviews, the "Invest in Peace" initiative and other related investment and enterprise competitiveness policy advice, thus, contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, the Meeting will bring together donor institutions and country recipients of technical assistance for building productive capacity.



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The Expert Meeting on Building Productive Capacities will be held from 4 to 6 September 2006 and will open at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, at 10 a.m. on Monday, 4 September 2006.

Background and purpose of the Meeting

The Expert Meeting will explore successful policies and approaches to building productive capacity and international competitiveness in developing countries, including programmes of assistance. This includes polices to attract foreign direct investment, and complementary technology and innovation policies, including enterprise development policies, to enhance the benefits of foreign direct investment (FDI). It also includes the need to enhance the linkage between official development assistance (ODA) and FDI. The Expert Meeting will emphasize an integrated treatment of policy areas and policy coherence, with a view to promoting broad-based development and contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. UNCTAD should distil its experience from the investment policy reviews, the "Invest in Peace" initiative and other related investment policy advice, including that of the UNCTAD Insurance Programme.

Presentations by experts will contribute to a better understanding of the policies that may contribute to the successful building of national capacities and of the major concerns of developing countries in this area from the investment and development perspectives. There will be presentations by private sector participants on what they consider effective policies in attracting and enhancing the benefits from FDI.

Experts participating in the meeting are requested to make written contributions on their specific experiences in the field of the subject matter. The contributions will be made available at the Meeting in the form and language in which they are received.


Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 18 August 2006. Experts, who will participate in the Meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, and may be selected from government, the academic world, the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations. Experts from donor institutions familiar with the operation of capacity building programmes will also be invited to participate.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the session, as well as non-governmental organizations in the General Category and those in the Special Category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 18 August 2006.

Financial assistance

Funds will be made available to finance the participation of a limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation, needs of beneficiaries, in particular LDCs, and the expertise of the experts concerned, as well as the type and availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts at the time. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 14 August 2006, and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Mailing address;
  • Telephone and fax number;
  • E-mail address; and
  • Name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva.

It should be noted in this connection that once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations, although use of the least costly fare will be authorized.

These experts are expected to prepare brief papers on issues they consider particularly important. The papers will be made available at the Meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the Meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.2/EM.19/1.

Experts are encouraged to submit written contributions related to their country´s experience on the subject under discussion. These papers will be made available to the Meeting in the form and language in which they are received.


The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the UN Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the Meeting in the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.

Further information and contact details

Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: +41 (0)22 917 02 14, e-mail: correspondence@unctad.org).

All other inquiries should be addressed to Ms. Fiorina Mugione, coordinator of the Expert Meeting in the substantive division (Division on Investment, Technology and Enterprise Development), +41 (0)22 917 29 43; fax: +41(0)22 917 01 22, e-mail: fiorina.mugione@unctad.org, or tel.: +41 (0)22 917 57 46; fax: +41 (0)22 917 01 94.


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
2 August 2006


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