02 Nov 09 - Recession tops agenda at ´´Key Issues´´ training course
The world economy has not escaped its long-running recession, UNCTAD's Secretary-General said, raising a principal topic at a three-week training course on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda, held in Jakarta.
Financial institutions may have shed their toxic assets and stock market indices may have risen… but it is premature to say that the global economic crisis has ended, UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told the opening session of a three-week UNCTAD flagship "Regional Course on Key Issues on the International Economic Agenda".
The course is UNCTAD's eighteenth regional session aimed at helping government officials from developing countries keep up with economic trends. Twenty participants from Asian nations are attending the training programme, which is being held from 2 to 20 November.
Aggregate demand remains low in many countries a year after the economic crisis began, Mr. Supachai said in his opening address. He added that there was fear that any "recovery" may be jobless. Governments struggling to cope with the recession should not lose sight of the need for policies and reforms that can lead to sustainable, long-term economic growth, he advised.
He added that unchecked speculative financial behaviour and large external imbalances of the sort that led to the crisis could be avoided in future through better monitored and more transparent rules governing the international financial and monetary systems.
The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Inron Cottan, told the meeting that economic capacity-building was important for stable and growing trade. And he said a pattern by which governments learned from each other had proved to be mutually beneficial for countries in the region.
Topics to be discussed over the next three weeks include:
- Trade, financial flows and macroeconomic policies in a growing economy
- Investment and enterprise development: trade and development implications
- The knowledge economy: key policy issues
- International transport and trade facilitation
Participants also will carry out a simulation exercise on multilateral trade negotiations.
Officials are attending from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Singapore, Samoa, and Viet Nam. They variously represent ministries of trade, industry, and investment. Other participants are academics.