The Netherlands and UNCTAD sign $6m Strategic Partnership Agreement

Strategic Partnership Agreement

The Netherlands pledges $6 million over four years to support UNCTAD’s innovative investment and e-commerce activities, the partners announced at the World Investment Forum.

The Netherlands and UNCTAD signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement to provide financial support for joint activities worth $6 million until 2022 on 23 October.

The agreement was signed at the Palais des Nations, the United Nations' European hub in Geneva, Switzerland. It builds on the two sides' successful collaboration over several years, such as support for UNCTAD work on investment in sectors that boost attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as investment policy debates in UNCTAD.

The Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs also collaborates with UNCTAD in other areas, for example with financial contributions to its work on business facilitation and investment promotion.

"Partnerships are built on trust, and we are very happy with the confidence placed in UNCTAD by the Netherlands," said James Zhan, director of UNCTAD’s division on investment and enterprise.

"It is an important signal to the development community that we are ready not just to implement our solutions in beneficiary countries, but to do so in continuous dialogue and cooperation with donors and other organizations," Mr. Zhan added.

Hans Docter, director of the Department for Sustainable Economic Development of the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: "We need to step up our contribution to inclusive sustainable growth to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. Innovative partnerships are key in that light. UNCTAD is a relevant player in the area of trade, investments and private sector development."

"In its network, UNCTAD can bring together usual and unusual suspects in partnerships for SDGs. I look forward to working closely together with UNCTAD towards unlocking the potential of the private sector to mobilize investments for SDGs, supporting the development of the digital economy and strengthening effective business climates," Mr. Docter added.

Better business

The scope of the agreement covers three main areas of work: investment for sustainable development; e-commerce and the digital economy; and good governance for private sector development.

The objectives of the partnership are to:

  • Support developing countries in mobilizing international investment for sustainable development, and UNCTAD’s role in setting the international policy agenda on sustainable investment issues

  • Help developing countries unlock the potential of e-commerce and advance digital opportunities for women

  • Build capacity in developing countries to improve the business and investment climate, strengthening local economic governance and reducing business, investment and trading costs

The partnership will put a focus on the role of and opportunities for women and young people in pursuing these objectives.

It will include an annual policy dialogue between UNCTAD and the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs on substantive and governance issues, and activities carried out under the agreement, including those in developing countries, will closely involve Dutch representatives and other organizational partners.

The agreement was signed in the margins of the World Investment Forum, taking place at the Palais des Nations from 22–26 October.