The President received the UNCTAD Secretary-General at the Presidential Palace in Abidjan on 21 March 2012. The Secretary-General encouraged the President and the Minister of Commerce to also participate in the World Investment Forum, to be held from 20 to 23 April in Doha, providing a valuable opportunity to attract investors to the country. Also present at the meeting were H.E. Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration; H.E. Mr. Dagobert Banzio, Minister of Commerce; Mr. Mouramane Fofana, Adviser on Industry, Commerce, Development and the Private Sector to the President of Côte d’Ivoire, and Mr. Kwabena Baah-Duodu, Chief a.i., Office of the Secretary-General of UNCTAD.
Prior to the call on the President, the Secretary-General met separately with the Honourable Ministers. The Ministers were most appreciative of the past assistance UNCTAD had provided to Côte d’Ivoire in areas such as customs administration (ASYCUDA), and public debt management (DMFAS programme).
The Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated his country's desire to host the next World Investment Forum in 2014 or the subsequent one in 2016. The Minister also disclosed that the President had set out three objectives for his administration, namely (i) peace and security; (ii) national reconciliation; and (iii) reconstruction of the country to enhance the economy.
President Ouattara discussed with the Secretary-General the third objective in particular. Dr. Supachai indicated that UNCTAD could assist the reconstruction efforts of Côte d’Ivoire, as well as providing support for regional integration efforts, in line with collaboration previously undertaken with the African Union, ECOWAS and other sub-regional organizations. The President also requested UNCTAD's assistance in the agricultural, tourism and rice-production sectors, while the Minister of Commerce called for support in building the capacity of staff members of the Ministry. The Secretary-General promised that UNCTAD would endeavour to assist.
A meeting was also held at the Côte d’Ivoire National Assembly (Parliament) between the Secretary-General and the newly-elected Vice-President of the Assembly, Madame Fadika Sarra Sacko, in the absence of the President of the Assembly, H.E. Mr. Guillaume Kigbafori Soro. Madame Sacko graciously accepted UNCTAD’s invitation to attend the Women in Development event at UNCTAD XIII.