(Geneva, 18 May 2015)

H.E. Ambassador Humberto Jiménez Torres of Ecuador,
Mr. Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD,
Mr. Guillermo Valles, Director, Division on International Trade in goods and Services, and Commodities,
Mrs. Anne Miroux, Director, Division on Technology and Logistic
Distinguished delegates,

Agenda Item 4 - Trade Development policies and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda

1. The Group of 77 and China recognize the crucial importance of discussions and negotiations going on in New York in terms of development, in particular the intergovernmental negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and how this relates to our work here in Geneva.

2. The Group of 77 and China underscore the importance of discussing key issues of trade and development policies, so as to achieve real sustainable development for the people of the world, and recognize the key role of UNCTAD in this work as the focal point in the United Nations for the integrated treatment of the development agenda, from the trade, investment, finance, technology, and sustainable development perspective.

3. Eradicating poverty and achieving sustained and equitable prosperity continue to be of the utmost importance to the Group. By building upon the achievements of the MDGs, a new model of development thinking should be achieved that empowers developing countries by building their capacity to develop.

4. An enabling international environment should be created, in particular by developed countries, through relevant policy frameworks and incentives that should lead to, among others increasing flows of finance and investment to developing countries, scaling up technology development and transfer, establishing a fair and pro-development international trading system, and enhancing the participation of developing countries in global financial and economic governance.

5. The Post-2015 Development Agenda will need to be all encompassing. In order to achieve the ambitious goals that are to be adopted in September 2015, political will, policy space, and productive capacity are essential. There is also a need for significant mobilization of resources including the existing commitments by developed countries, in particular official development assistance.

6. The Group of 77 and China emphasize the need to catalyze the Doha Round in the WTO to enable the earliest possible successful realization of its development objectives and aspirations. Indeed the focus has shifted from the original and ostensible reason for the round - the promotion of a development-friendly multilateral trading system, to the promotion of an even broader liberalization agenda focusing on the priorities of the North.

7. The Group of 77 and China attaches great importance to the development dimension of the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. As shown in UNCTAD's research and publications, developing countries can benefit significantly from investments in trade and transport facilitation, yet at the same time, they also face numerous obstacles. Many trade facilitation reforms are easier to implement if the country has already acquired capacities in Information and Communication Technologies and institutional capacities. In this context, the Group of 77 and China appreciate the important work being done by UNCTAD in support of the implementation of the Trade Facilitation agreement, including in the context of preparations for the categorization and notification of measures under the Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Group of 77 and China call for the sufficient provision of resources for technical assistance and capacity building for developing countries in order to fully harness trade as an engine for development.

8. In terms of remittances, it has long been realized that these are a valuable source of income for many developing countries. However, the Group of 77 and China are of the view that remittances cannot be considered a substitute to ODA.

9. Remittances come from various sectors and one group that is a significant source of remittances is the seafaring community and yet the participation of developing countries in providing cadets and officers to ships is limited. UNCTAD with its extensive experience in maritime transport could conduct research into how seafaring, and possibly other aspects of maritime and related businesses, can be provided by other developing countries. Given the overall growing importance of international trade logistics services, and the fact that most international trade is sea-borne, the Group of 77 and China encourage UNCTAD to continue its important work in the maritime field, including the research and support in the area maritime businesses, and the potential for developing countries to generate investment and employment in the port and shipping sector.

Agenda Item 5 - Formulation of National Policies in the Context of Existing RTAs

Mr. Chair,

10. The Group of 77 and China expresses its view that regional trade agreements including North-South trade agreements should not negatively impact South-South regional integration and policy space. The Group of 77 and China believes that the integrity of the multilateral approach needs to be preserved as it provides the broadest and fairest approach where all parties have the ability to bargain in a more equal manner and features such as special and differential treatment have a stable role.

11. The Group of 77 and China is concerned that some emerging regional trade agreements and international investment agreements contain provisions that are more stringent than those covered by the multilateral trade regime or they include additional provisions that go beyond those of the current multilateral trade agreements. In this regard the Group of 77 and China wishes to emphasize the importance of preserving policy space to maximize flexibility in the design and implementation of national economic and development policies. The Group of 77 and China therefore emphasizes that the seventh session of the Commission on Trade and Development is an opportunity to examine possible national policies, and the multilateral trading system itself, to better enable member States to address these issues and challenges in a holistic and development-oriented manner.

Agenda Item 6 - Progress on promoting and strengthening synergies among the three pillars

Mr. Chair,

12. The Group of 77 and China recognize that E-learning is an efficient and effective tool to make capacity building activities accessible to a wide range of participants, independently of their geographic location. We commend UNCTAD for using E-learning to promote its work on Train for Trade (TFT) and encourage it to continue broadening its offer on E-learning courses.

13. In 2015 alone, the TFT program trained 207 participants from GRULAC, 405 from Africa, and 49 from Asia using blended learning, which is a combination of online and face-to-face learning tools. Electronic commerce is a relevant topic in this regard, as it continues to grow both in volume and geographic reach and is increasingly featured in the international development agenda.

14. The Group of 77 and China recognize the contribution of TFT in fostering international and South-South exchanges. An integral part of every TFT project is its online-platform, which is created for each course. It provides a forum where international and regional stakeholders can interact and remain engaged even after the end of the project cycle. A concrete example of successful and sustainable North-South and South-South cooperation is the UNCTAD/TFT Port Training Program, which supports port communities in developing countries and creates local capacity that may then be reproduced within the beneficiary countries.

I thank you Mr. Chair.