By Bernhard Schell
ABU DHABI | 18 October 2023 (IDN) — Government ministers and enterprises from around the world, participating in the World Investment Forum, have called for agrifood sector to assign a top priority for global investment.
The 8th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) convened the Forum from 16 to 20 October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It accentuated the private sector’s critical role in bridging the $4 trillion annual investment gap in developing countries that needs to be bridged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It underlined its role in enhancing food security and preserving biodiversity.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan stressed the challenges of attracting investment, such as risk reduction, capacity-building and reforming international financial structures. “The solutions to these challenges are not solely in the hands of any one country or institution,” she said. “So let us come together, learn from one another, and chart a path forward that benefits all.”
Government ministers acknowledged that high debt levels and a volatile international investment climate were key obstacles. They underlined the importance of fostering a business-friendly environment, attracting environmentally responsible investments, and establishing strategic public-private partnerships.
They reckoned investment in transformative and sustainable technologies to be crucial for a paradigm shift in global food security and environmental sustainability. This involves accelerating the transition to renewable energy, harnessing green technologies and promoting supportive business environments.
Participants at the forum’s enterprise ministerial round table, which included 18 government ministers and representatives, emphasized the pivotal role of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in global economies.
“The World Investment Forum showcased game-changing start-up innovations for sustainable development. These innovations range from low- to high-tech solutions, including accessible greenhouse solutions for small farmers, lab-grown meat, land and desert regeneration technologies, and efficiency-enhancing solutions for agribusiness,” noted a press release.
Meanwhile, in response to the United Nations’ call at the SDG Summit in September 2023 for ramping up efforts for the 2030 Agenda through SDG investments, the Global Alliance of Special Economic Zones has launched the SDG Model Zone initiative during the forum.
This initiative recognizes the work of 50 special economic zones from around the world that are leading the way in sustainable development. [IDN-InDepthNews]
© FAO/Farshad Usyan | A wheat farmer in Afghanistan.
Photo: A wheat farmer in Afghanistan.