Dec 4




Transforming Economies for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

World Investment Forum

High Level Round Table

Transforming Economies for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

Tsavo Ballroom 1, Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi

Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 9:30- 11:30 am


To achieve the sustainable development goals, it is essential to build productive capacity and effect economic transformation. Eradicating poverty by 2030 will require a concerted acceleration in the development of productive capacities, especially in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Productivity will have to be increased within and across sectors. The UNCTAD 14 High-Level Round Table on Transforming Economies will convene Ministers, Heads of International Organizations, top-level private sector representatives and eminent persons to discuss pathways to strengthen productive capacity, and economic transformation. By facilitating an open exchange of national and regional experiences, and lessons learned, the Round Table will appraise, and identify concrete options to diversify economies, in developing countries, particularly those where needs are most acute.


Thematic Focus

A lack of economic diversity has been a constant inhibitor to the economic progress of many, often resource-rich, developing countries — a phenomenon in large part propagated by deficient productive capacities. This keeps income and employment suppressed, and restricts these economies from integrating into and benefiting from global value chains — the production networks that now predominantly drive global trade.

The strengthening of productive capacity within developing countries is therefore critical to realizing tangible, long-term economic transformation and the delivery of enhanced employment and economic opportunities for the world's most vulnerable. As outlined in the UNCTAD Secretary-General's Report to UNCTAD 14 "From Decisions to Actions", the achievement of the SDGs remains contingent upon multilateral efforts to efficiently and effectively mobilize resources — public and private; domestic and foreign — to inject impetus into job-rich, value-added productive sectors and greater economic diversification. Such outcomes require a synergistic approach to investment, trade, technology and entrepreneurship, emphasizing the vital role of both public and private sectors in this process.

A new transformative package of policy options could be a valuable tool to tackle this key challenge of the Development Agenda. The high-level Round Table will focus on identifying practical pathways for action by covering the following terrain:



Sub-Theme 1: Promoting Investment in productive capacity

  • What strategies and policy options could be utilized to promote and facilitate investment in productive capacity?
  • How might industrial development strategies be reconfigured to complement the targets enumerated under the SDGs?
  • What can countries do to ensure they attract foreign direct investment, not only in quantity, but of the quality needed to realize their particular development objectives?


Sub-Theme 2: Leveraging international trade and production networks for economic diversification

  • How might international trade and production networks be best leveraged to facilitate economic diversification? How can trade and investment facilitation policies improve the prospects of developing countries to link to and benefit from regional and global value chains?
  • How should countries determine the sectoral focus of their diversification strategies, and assess the viability of these choices?


Sub-Theme 3: Leveraging technology to enhance productive capacity

  • How can technology be optimally harnessed to develop high-value industries?
  • How can public, private and academic actors cooperate to substantially expand technology transfer, technical expertise and know-how?


Sub-Theme 4: Strategies for resource mobilization for enterprise development

  • What should be the key elements in the design of an appropriate policy framework for business facilitation?
  • What policies and resource mobilization strategies will maximize returns from entrepreneurship and enterprise development for economic diversification?
  • How can entrepreneurship development policies be oriented to encourage the participation rate of target groups, including women, youth and social entrepreneurs?


Recognizing the need for international coordination and cooperation, the session will convene a diverse range of experiences and perspectives — both public and private — to discuss the challenges and opportunities in global policy and business environments to further build productive capacity for sustainable and inclusive growth.


Expected outcome

The High-Level Round Table on Transforming Economies will formulate concrete and actionable pathways, approaches, strategic and partnership models that can deliver economic transformation and expand productive capacity in support of the SDGs. The outcome of session discussions will form an integral part of official conference proceedings whilst providing a vital input into the development of policy tools to support economic diversification efforts. Specifically, the deliberations will feed into ongoing efforts to refine UNCTAD's Investment Facilitation and Promotion Action Menu.

The outcome of the session will inform and enrich follow-up discussions on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda presenting pathways for future discussion and action on public-private cooperation toward targeted investment in the SDGs. Lastly, it will provide an input into the General Assembly considerations of the outcome of the UNCTAD14 Conference.


The event will open with a formal introduction to the overarching themes of the session delivered by the Secretary General of UNCTAD, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi. The Round Table itself will take the form of a series of moderated sub-sessions organized in alignment with the guiding thematic questions of the session. At the commencement of each sub-session, the moderator will hand the floor to panelists wishing to deliver key note interventions which will then serve to initiate an open discussion between both discussants and the panel.




  • Opening Remarks by Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD (7')
  • Introduction of panelists and discussants by moderator (5')


Sub-Theme 1: Promoting investment in productive capacity

  • Intervention by panelist #1 (7')


Sub-Theme 2: Leveraging international trade and production networks for economic diversification

  • Intervention by panelist #2 (7')


Sub-Theme 3: Leveraging technology to enhance productive capacity

  • Intervention by panelist #3 (7')


Sub-Theme 4: Strategies for resource mobilization for enterprise development

  • Intervention by panelist #4 (7')


Interventions by discussants

  • Intervention by discussant #1 (3')



  • Intervention by discussant #2 (3')


  • Intervention by discussant #3 (3')


  • Intervention by discussant #4 (3')


  • Intervention by discussant #5 (3')


  • Intervention by discussant #6 (3')


Reactions and follow-up comments from panelists (10')


General debate on building productive capacity to transform economies (30')


Closing remarks from panelists and discussants (15')


Session Ends

Moderator:  Poppy Trowbridge, BBC




List of Speakers (as of 02/07/16)

Opening Remarks:

  • Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD


  • Ms. Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner of Trade, European Union
  • H.E. Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Nigeria
  • H.E. Mr. Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry, South Africa
  • Mr. Mbuvi Ngunze, CEO of Kenya Airways
  • Mr. Saber Chowdury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)


  • Mr. Kurt Tong,  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, the United States of America
  • Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Thailand 
  • Mr. Helmut Scholz, Committee on International Trade, European Parliament
  • Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, Deputy Director-General, International Labour Office (ILO)
  • Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), WTO

Moderator:  Poppy Trowbridge, BBC



About the World Investment Forum
Unlike trade, which is governed by the World Trade Organization, and global finance, which is coordinated by the IMF, no global forum exists to facilitate international interaction on investment issues. The World Investment Forum was conceived to fill this gap by establishing a global platform for interaction between public and private stakeholders at the highest level.  The Forum functions to coordinate international investment relations at the global level; identify solutions to key and emerging global investment-development issues; and stimulate interaction between global investment, trade and finance policy makers in order to weave a more coherent policy environment. Held biennially, the event has become the preeminent international forum on investment-development issues. The 2014 World Investment Forum, held in Geneva, attracted more than 3,000 participants to over 30 sessions, organized in partnership with fellow international organizations, including FAO, the International Chamber of Commerce, ILO, Inter-Parliamentary Union, World Bank, World Economic Forum and the World Trade Organization.