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March 24, 2018

Nairobi talks declaration to unlock global trade growth

UN member countries flags fly high at KICC during the ongoing UNCTAD 14th ministerial conference in Nairobi KICC on July 19.PHOTO/ENOS TECHE
UN member countries flags fly high at KICC during the ongoing UNCTAD 14th ministerial conference in Nairobi KICC on July 19.PHOTO/ENOS TECHE

The ongoing UN-backed trade talks in Nairobi have yielded a political declaration that could unlock global development.

The 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has agreed on the declaration called ‘Nairobi Azimio’, as the meeting enters its fourth day today.

The declaration is to be adopted on Friday.

It calls for increasing financial, infrastructure and development support to the world’s least developed countries and vulnerable nations.

UNCTAD14 president and Kenya’s Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed yesterday said the meeting is also expected to achieve a “negotiated text”, which was being discussed yesterday.

It will propose a way forward for trade and investments.

“We expect to have two major instruments at the end of the conference. The political declaration is one that we as a country will be providing to the international community for adoption,” she said.

The two declarations are intended to spur global trade and put developed countries to task in fulfilling their promises on development in poor countries.

“Negotiations on the text are ongoing. It is a very healthy debate and delegations have been working very hard into the late evening to make sure they get it ready for adoption on Friday,” Mohamed said.

She said the World Investment Forum being held on the sidelines of the global meet will also help address investment problems.

Kenya’s Ambassador to Geneva Stephen Karau, who is part of the negotiating team, said the forum is also focusing on debt restructuring for developing countries, taxation on international trade, financing and investments.

“Developing countries have to be allowed space within their laws, such that as they produce, they can export to the world market with some flexibility. If you invoke some of the tight rules, their profits will be reduced,” he said.

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