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UNCTAD and the Institut de la Méditerranée sign agreement

16 December 2004

Carlos Fortin, Officer-in-Charge of UNCTAD, and Henry Roux-Alezais, President of the Institut de la Méditerranée, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Marseille on Monday, 20 December, to explore how knowledge-based economies (KbEs) can be implemented as development tools in the Mediterranean region, especially in Morocco and Tunisia.

As the work of the Institut de la Méditerranée has shown, KbEs can generate growth and development without the need for large-scale accumulation of capital. This growth is based on using the available stock of formal and tacit knowledge, know-how and technology, producing new know-how and codifying and diffusing it throughout society, including even the poorest segments of the population. Knowledge-based economies are an effective response to the challenges currently faced by developing countries, especially those whose savings rates and direct investment are not sufficient to stimulate sustainable economic development from capital accumulation alone.

The agreement will lead to new research and activities by the two organizations, aimed at establishing "know-how societies and communities" in partner countries, particularly within the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. It could also contribute to the identification of the most appropriate forms of international cooperation in this field, especially in the codification of know-how.

The UNCTAD/UNDP Global Programme on Globalization, Liberalization and Sustainable Human Development will reinforce the partnership through its experience with the interactions and impact of KbEs on the strategic vectors of energy and water. It will also help partner countries strengthen their sustainable human development in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.

The partnership will in turn benefit the two organizations by facilitating the exchange of experiences, the identification of common economic incentives to encourage the diffusion and application of know-how by public-private partnerships, and the creation of tools to promote tacit and formal know-how.

For further information:, and

For more information, please contact:
UNCTAD Press Office
T: +41 22 917 5828
R. Figueredo
T: +41 22 917 4433


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