Progress in ongoing projects in Lao People's Democratic Republic and Tanzania discussed at meeting of SECO / UN Trade Cluster initiative

04 November 2014

The Global Management Board of the SECO / UN Trade Cluster initiative, sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), met on 27 October to discuss ongoing operations and future projects.

The meeting reviewed with SECO two inter-agency initiatives designed to enhance sustainable tourism and export capacity in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Tanzania.

On Lao PDR, SECO appraised the work being achieved by the UN Inter-Agency Cluster and approved the 2015 inter-agency annual work plan prepared by the participating agencies and main stakeholders. On the management side, SECO and the participating agencies agreed to improve the coordination mechanisms for better efficiency at the country level.

Turning to Tanzania, SECO noted its satisfaction on the launch of the programme and highlighted the importance of trying to bring new value into the tourism sector while establishing backward links to trade.

Representatives at the meeting underscored the high potential of the new joint programme, and emphasized the links between this initiative and broader participation in the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP 2011-2015).

The joint programme, supported by SECO, will effectively contribute to the Delivering as One (DaO) in Tanzania. It is expected to gain in visibility and efficiency as the DaO coordination mechanisms, led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office (UNRCO), are well established in Tanzania.

It is foreseen that the SECO-sponsored joint programme will benefit from the United Nations Resident Coordinator' enhanced communication with the Government at the highest levels; from the resource mobilization efforts developed at the country level; and from the advanced Results Monitoring System successfully experienced in Tanzania.

Finally, representatives at the meeting discussed possible future projects in Asia and Africa based on countries' priorities and lessons learned from the two ongoing joint programmes.

Attending the meeting were representatives from Switzerland - as the donor country; Lao People's Democratic Republic - as one of the beneficiary countries; and from five participating agencies to the UN Inter-Agency joint initiative (UNCTAD, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Labour Organization, the International Trade Center and the United Nations Office for Project Services).