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UNIDO’s South-South Investment Forum at IATF2023: Fostering Collaboration and Economic Growth for Global South

2024-01-03 11:05:00 Click Num:104

Cairo, Egypt, November 10, 2023 – The South-South Investment Forum, an event organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) jointly with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), and the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank), has successfully concluded. The forum, which took place during the 3rd Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023), served as a platform for dialogue focusing on actionable strategies for mobilizing South-South investments among the world's emerging economies.

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Mobilizing Investments and Identifying Opportunities

The event was structured to address various key aspects of South-South investment, with the aim of identifying opportunities for de-risking investments, enhancing financing, and fostering collaborative frameworks.

Ms. Fatou Haidara, UNIDO Managing Director for the Directorate of Global Partnerships and External Relations and Special Representative for Africa, delivered the keynote speech on behalf of the organization through a video message, stating that the organization is committed to stimulating South-South and triangular cooperation as a means of accelerating Africa’s industrialization.

During her opening remarks, Ms. Gwen Mwaba, Director and Global Head of Trade Finance, Afreximbank provided a compelling vision and strategic insights into key initiatives and collaborations, offering a roadmap for transformative investment in Africa.

Ms. Yu Wen who is the General Manager of International Department delivered the keynote speech on behalf of the China EXIMBANK where she highlighted the relevance of financial institutions in international cooperation and industrial development.

During the forum panelists such as Shenhong Yao from UNIDO, explored the uniqueness of South-South investment models, underscoring the need for tailored strategies to harness these opportunities. “To drive sustainable industrial development in emerging economies, we must focus on improving infrastructures, enhancing policy coordination, and mobilizing diverse financing sources. UNIDO can support these efforts through South-South cooperation in capacity building and the transfer of industrial technologies, fostering robust development in the Global South”, Mr. Yao stated during the discussion.

Wu Qijin from China EXIMBANK highlighted sectors ripe for investment, like renewable energy and digital infrastructure, which have remained underexplored despite immense potential. Afreximbank's Abah Ofon underscored the critical role of expertise and networks in accelerating the identification of viable projects, emphasizing the bank's initiatives like the Project Preparation Facility to de-risk industrial projects. The conversation turned towards regulatory frameworks with AfCFTA's Emily Mburu-Ndoria, who pointed out successful reforms in various Global South countries that have enhanced investment attractiveness.

The forum moderated by Mr. Pradeep Paulose, Programme Officer at UNIDO, delivered an insightful and impactful discussion that resonated well with the diverse and engaged audience present at the venue as well as those joined online. The sessions addressed the crucial aspect of risk mitigation, with UNIDO's Shenhong Yao calling for immediate actions to align stakeholders towards a common investment strategy. Collaboration emerged as a recurring theme, with panelists discussing the integration of efforts between multilateral organizations and financial institutions to facilitate investment flows.

The Road Ahead

The final segments of the forum focused on discussing a potential future roadmap, with panelists from Afreximbank and China Eximbank elaborating on the importance of specialized industrial parks to attract investment.

The concluding discussions provided a platform for commitments towards increasing intra-African and South-South investment, with panelists sharing their visions and prospective initiatives. The forum reiterated the commitment of UNIDO, Afreximbank, and China Eximbank to sustainable development through enhanced South-South cooperation.

The insights and strategies shared during the event have set a precedent for future collaboration and development which is intended to lay the groundwork for a concrete action plan between UNIDO and the participating banks to mobilize industrial investments among countries in the Global South.

Source:Unido

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