World Export Development Forum is being organized in UB

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The World Export Development Forum under the theme “Diversification of Green Trade: Organic, Digital and Sustainable” is organized under the auspices of the Mongolian President, Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh until June 29.

The conference began with a business dialogue meeting of landlocked developing countries, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs B.Battsetseg’s opening speech. She presented the state of Mongolia’s economy, trade and infrastructure, and the policies and activities implemented in the framework of ensuring the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. She also called on member states, development partners, and other stakeholders to actively cooperate in order to expand and strengthen the activities of the International Tink Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries (LDDCs) based in Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia reported that it is working on the initiative of establishing a group of landlocked developing countries within the framework of the World Trade Organization, and touched on the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action for landlocked developing and transit countries and the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Then, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and High Representative of the United Nations for Least Developed, Landlocked and Small Island Countries Rabab Fatima who is visiting our country, gave a speech. She said that the initiatives of landlocked countries have spread around the world, and today we are participating in a conference covering Asia to discuss the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the problems and challenges faced by landlocked countries, especially developing countries. The third Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries will be held in Africa next year. The meeting, held every decade by Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries in Kigali, Rwanda, aims to bring the voice of the private sector to the highest level of governments and the United Nations. She hopes that the Ulaanbaatar conference will contribute to this. Before the conference, she said she would like to congratulate and thank Mongolia for its activities and initiatives in organizing the World Export Development Forum in Ulaanbaatar under the auspices of the Mongolian President.

The World Export Development Forum is organized annually by the International Trade Center of the United Nations, and this time the conference is held under the common theme of “Diversification of Green Trade” and new developments such as “Transition to Organic and Digital Trade and Supporting Sustainable Development”. There are 44 landlocked countries in the world, 32 of which are developing countries. Landlocked countries account for only one percent of world trade.

At this conference, the issues of youth, women and green development are discussed in landlocked countries. The President supports the issues and it is compatible with Mongolia’s foreign policy, hence it has been decided to be held in Mongolia under the auspices of the head of state. Representatives of the World Export Development Forum 2023 emphasize the need to support small and medium-sized industries in developing and transition economies to increase their competitiveness on the global market. They believe that the integration of the service sector will be the key to economic development in landlocked countries.

Commenting on the Forum, participants said:

President U.Khurelsukh congratulated the guests participating in the conference and under- scored that green and e-commerce are important for countries to implement their Sustainable Development Goals in complicated times when the world is facing challenges and difficulties.

He also mentioned the need to diversify global trade and economic relations in a greener, organic, and digital way, introduce advanced technologies and innovations, open new opportunities for producers and wealth creators, increase competitiveness and provide equal opportunities. In addition, he expressed his confidence that the 20th World Export Development Forum being held in Ulaanbaatar will discuss solutions to the problem, come up with practical suggestions and initiatives, and present them at the Third United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries.

Foreign Policy Adviser to the President E.Odbayar says, “The 20th World Export Development Forum is of historical significance as it is being held in Mongolia after the pandemic. The problems of landlocked countries are similar. UN has focused on landlocked countries for many years. This time, the representatives of landlocked countries are looking for new export opportunities, sharing with others what new solutions they have found, and exchanging ideas on how to localize good examples to other countries and diversify trade. The specialty of this forum is focused on how to support youth entrepreneurship and create trade facilitation mechanisms. The forum is also special as the exchange of opinions on global green trade trends, future development, innovation, the digital environment of trade and women’s participation, and the selection of the world’s young eco-entrepreneurs among young entrepreneurs. A study was presented on what is needed to bring the development of 32 landlocked developing countries to the level of developed countries. According to the research, 32 countries need to build 200,000 km of paved roads and 48 km of railways in order to improve their level of development. It is estimated that an investment of 500 billion USD will be needed. The biggest challenge for landlocked countries is financing. The parties expressed their views on how to find financing, how to provide financing for trade and sports that support development and infrastructure under special conditions. Countries are also sharing their stories of how they are rebuilding their economies after the pandemic.”

World Trade Center Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton noted, “This conference held in Mongolia is characterized by supporting the implementation of international trade facilitation agreements and supporting cross-border trade in landlocked countries. Also, there is an urgent need for countries to support the development of green trade. In addition to focusing on providing concessional financing to small companies, implementation of trade facilitation measures should be digital and gender sensitive. It is important to decentralize trade corridors and borders by solving transport and logistics. Also, at this conference, the opening of the Mongolian center of the ‘SheTrades’ program, initiated by the International Trade Center to strengthen the economic potential of women, is held. Thus, Mongolia will join the SheTrades program, which operates in more than 10 countries around the world. The Center will provide practical training for women and support the creation of a business-friendly environment by strengthening the capacity of women to do business, strengthening institutions, and improving the policy environment aimed at ensuring gender equality.”

Director of IBC Global Tonya McNeil Weary emphasized, “I am participating in the conference from the United States. Coming to Mongolia for the first time. At the conference, attention was drawn to the importance of ensuring women’s business equality and increasing their participation in society and economy. There is an urgent need for the private sector to consider women’s entrepreneurship at a higher level. In addition, new ideas for young people are seen as the key to expanding exports by supporting their start-up businesses. After the pandemic, companies are returning to their normal operations. Global trade trends are changing. For example, companies began to focus on exporting services rather than goods. I think it is important for landlocked countries to focus on how to introduce good practices, strengthen their economic base, improve and diversify their trade partnerships.”

The results of the discussions and business meetings organized within the framework of the conference are planned to be included in the National Export Strategy to be launched at the end of 2023.

Moreover, in relations to the World Day of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, an exhibition opened at the Sukhbaatar Square as part of the World Export Development Forum-2023.

More than 200 local and foreign enterprises in the fields of leather, wool, cashmere, organic food, sewing products, information technology and handicrafts are participating and presenting their products at the fair, which will close today. This allows the best export products to be delivered to consumers at a low price in one place. Furthermore, this fair aims to support the trade and export of developing countries, to support small industries to bring their products to the international market, and to integrate them into the value chain of the global region.

Amarjargal Munkhbat