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Boosting South-South financing can be a ‘win-win game’ – UN official

Boosting South-South financing can be a ‘win-win game’ – UN official

Noting that trade between developing countries had for most of the past 20 years grown faster than world trade, the head of a United Nations agency told a gathering of financial institutions based in developing countries that finding ways to strengthen South-South financing can be “a win-win game.”

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi made his comments at Monday’s opening of a meeting of the new Global Network of Export-Import Banks and Development Finance Institutions (G-NEXID), which involved institutions serving more than 70 countries.

“It is heartwarming . . . To see such a gathering, which is aimed at formalizing cooperation among financial intermediaries from developing countries,” Mr. Supachai told the one-day meeting, which was held in Geneva.

“In the last two decades, South-South trade has grown dramatically – for most of the time, faster than world trade. At the same time, South-South investment flows have also increased rapidly and now account for more than one-third of the total investment flows to developing countries.”

G-NEXID, which was initiated in June 2004, is a network aimed at supporting rapidly increasing trade between developing countries with expanded financial services that can spur and stabilize economic growth, UNCTAD said, adding that it will also allow developing countries to learn from each other and share effective practices.

However, despite the growth in South-South trade and development, UNCTAD said that there was still weak financing support in developing countries and for years the agency, working alongside such countries, had sought to remedy this problem in South-South financial relations.

“Finding ways to strengthen South-South financing can be a win-win game,” Mr. Supachai told the meeting, which adopted a work programme for 2006 and elected several senior officials. The next general assembly meeting will be in February 2007.