05 Feb 08 - Transport, logistics and global value chains: UNCTAD’s contribution

 The Commission on Enterprise, Business Facilitation and Development met on 4 and 5 February to discuss ways to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises of developing countries.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Acting Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, indicated the need to develop

"… new areas of specialization, new ways of cutting costs and new measures for enhancing the competitiveness of domestic producers. It is in this context that trade logistics and supply chain management are of interest to all developing countries.

After all, there is very little that an enterprising businessman in Africa can do if his goods cannot be transported to markets at competitive prices. Similarly, there is very little that an innovative manufacturer of automobile parts can do without being able to link up with existing distribution and marketing channels of transnational corporations (TNCs).

Therefore, new solutions to reduce production costs, improve transport links, and increase capacities to innovate and compete may be required.

On Monday, 4 February, the morning session focused on transport and logistics aspects and the related challenges and opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. The session examined what has been done and what will need to be done to achieve SMEs' wider integration into global value chains through more efficient infrastructure, better transport networks and more effective logistics services.

Train cargoThe Monday afternoon session presented the views of TNCs and SMEs, particularly those with operations in developing countries, and discussed various options for managing supply chains and overcoming current obstacles. It provided practical examples of UNCTAD's involvement in building linkages between large and smaller firms so as to integrate developing countries in global value chains.

The second day was dedicated to the review, evaluation and assessment of the work of UNCTAD and its expert meetings. With regard to the work of the expert meetings, the Commission approved the reports of two expert meeting which took place in 2007:

  • Expert meeting on regional cooperation in transit transport: solutions for landlocked and transit developing countries; and

  • Expert meeting on enhancing the participation of SMEs in global value chains.

The Commission also discussed the implementation of the agreed conclusions and recommendations of its eleventh session, including an assessment of the work of the Commission since UNCTAD XI.



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