28 May 09 - Secretary-General at UN Silk Road Mayor´s Forum 2009
Mayors and officials from 22 countries heard UNCTAD's message on how to tackle the current economic crisis through regional cooperation in trade and investment.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi addressed the participants of the Fourth United Nations Silk Road Mayor's Forum, in Pyeongtaek, Republic of Korea, on May 27.
Since 2005, UNCTAD has been an official partner of the Silk Road Initiative, a programme implemented jointly by UNCTAD, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Tourism Organization to promote regional integration along the Silk Road in the areas of trade, investment and tourism. The Mayors' Forum marked an important milestone in efforts to revitalize not only the tradition of the Silk Road, but numerous trade and investment opportunities in this part of Asia.
Citing the current state of the global economy, Mr. Supachai highlighted elements on how greater regional cooperation could help Silk Road countries cope with the crisis. Developing countries, now more than ever, must enhance their cooperation to mitigate the negative impact of a global economic crisis. Schemes such as the Silk Road Initiative could be tools to mitigate the impact of the global economic crisis and help countries capitalize on existing investment and trade opportunities in a sustainable manner. Special attention should be given to the role of the Silk Road cities as regional trade and investment hubs. Regional cooperation along the Silk Road can address the crisis by keeping trade going as an engine for development; keeping financing for development flowing; and promoting and retaining investment, domestic and foreign.
Also, it was announced that UNCTAD will co-organize the Silk Road Investment Forum and the Sixth International Investment Promotion Conference, to be held at the end of August this year in Xinjiang, China. At the forum, governments will be seeking mutual commitments to regional investment and economic cooperation to attract higher rates and quality of foreign direct investment. International business leaders will address ways and means of improving the investment climate along the Silk Road.