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UNCTAD was established 30 December 1964 by the Resolution of the UN GA No.1995 (XIX) as the permanent body of UN GA in spheres of trade and development.

Secretary-General: Mukhisa Kituyi (Kenya, since 1 September 2013).

Membership: 195 states.

The main goal of UNCTAD is to promote integration of developing countries and countries with economies in transition into the global economy and to facilitate its development through trade and investments. To this end, continuous analysis is being conducted in accordance with the specific needs of member states. UNCTAD membership provides the opportunity to benefit from seminars, courses, thematic projects of technical assistance.

Areas of activity

  • international trade (multilateral trading system of the WTO, trade in goods, trade in services, generalized system of preferences, trade among developing countries, integration into corporate procurement systems, etc.);
  • investment policy (bilateral investment agreements, multilateral investment guarantee mechanisms, best practices of investment attraction, internal sources of investment);
  • International financial relations (public debt management, international standards of accounting and reporting).

UNCTAD Toolkit: UNCTAD has limited abilities in the above areas as it does not develop binding decisions and regulatory mechanisms. The UNCTAD toolkit can be divided into three groups:

  • research and analysis (annual report on trade and development, world investment report, focused analytical studies in accordance with the specific needs of interested members);
  • technical assistance (seminars and courses, thematic projects in accordance with the needs of interested members);
  • a platform for intergovernmental dialogue.

UNCTAD and Belarus

The technical assistance in such spheres as investment policy, trade, competition, international standards of accounting and reporting, competition policy, consumer protection law, e-commerce, and gender equality is a prior field of cooperation with UNCTAD for Belarus.

Belarus continues the constructive dialogue with UNCTAD on the competition law and policy. In July 2018 during the participation of the Belarusian delegation headed by Mr. Vladimir Koltovich, Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade, in the 17th session of Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy under the aegis of UNCTAD the agreement was reached with the UNCTAD secretariat to make a review of Belarusian antimonopoly legislation.

In the second half of 2018 UNCTAD with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Belarus is planning to start the implementation of UNCTAD Accounting Development Tool in Belarus. Under this project a research will be made by an independent expert with the participation of business, government officials, academic circles in order to define in the final report the strengths and spots for improvement of Belarusian system of accounting and reporting.

Belarus cooperates with UNCTAD in the academic field as well. The UNCTAD Virtual Institute – International Education and Research Network on Trade and Development – unites 31 largest universities of the world. Therefore, great attention is paid to participation in the project “Virtual Institute” in 2007, of the Belarusian State Economic University. Jointly with UNCTAD, teachers and students of Belarusian State Economic University hold training seminars, lectures, discussion of problems of the world economy.

In 2009 the UNCTAD has made an Investment Policy Review for Belarus. The detailed review proved to be a real contribution to the improvement of the investment climate in Belarus and attracted attention of the international community and investors to the investment opportunities of our country.

22-26 October 2018 the Belarusian delegation will take part in the UNCTAD World Investment Forum which will take place in Geneva (Switzerland). Belarus is planning to participate as a speaker at the “Talking Business” and “Special economic zones: opportunities and challenges” sessions 23 and 26 October respectively. During the whole week the Belarusian stand at the «Investment Village» will provide the opportunity to learn about the peculiarities of doing business in Belarus.

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