By Jaya Ramachandran
VIENNA (IDN) – Germany and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have agreed to intensify and expand their relations. UNIDO will establish an Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in January in the Bonn UN Campus. Germany will also provide funds to UNIDO for implementing three projects.
German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Gerd Müller and the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), LI Yong signed an agreement on November 21 to establish ITPO in Bonn. The signing ceremony took place on the margins of UNIDO's 50th Anniversary celebrations at the Vienna International Centre.
ITPO will concentrate on sustainability, with a special focus on transferring sustainable technologies to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Its mandate supports the mission of the UN Campus in Bonn – “Shaping a Sustainable Future”.
In a statement following the signature of the agreement, Minister Müller said: “The establishment of the ITPO corresponds the development priorities of BMZ and complements the efforts of the German Government in promoting investment and sustainable technology in developing countries.”
“Germany has been UNIDO’s trusted partner for almost 40 years. In collaboration with UNIDO’s global ITPO network, the office will open up opportunities for investors and technology suppliers, helping them find potential partners and offering unique services to entrepreneurs and business institutions,” LI Yong said.
According to UNIDO, ITPO Germany will provide value added services to entrepreneurs and institutions seeking international industrial alliances, and act as a platform for public and private stakeholders to establish collaborative links with developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
The new ITPO in Bonn will join the worldwide UNIDO ITPO Network which currently includes offices in Bahrain, China (Beijing and Shanghai), Italy, Japan, Nigeria, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.
Another significant step in deepening and expanding German-UNIDO relations was taken on November 28. The Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations in Vienna, Friedrich Däuble, and UNIDO Director General signed three new projects to be implemented by UNIDO with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). "The new projects further cement the excellent relationship between Germany and UNIDO," a press release said.
The first project on 'Devising practical approaches for mobilizing investment capital and transfer of technology for Africa's pharmaceutical industry' will capitalize on UNIDO's previous work in Africa's pharmaceutical industry, and further mobilize public and private partners through the new ITPO Bonn.
“This is a very important initiative”, said Li. “Together with the heads of State and Government of the African Union as well as with our development partners, including Bill Gates, we agreed that more attention needs to be given to this specific sector as it pertains both to the health of people and the manufacturing of generic drugs. We are thankful to Germany for its continued support”.
The second project, titled 'Testing and inspection assessment tool for effective trade facilitation', will serve to increase UNIDO's outreach in trade facilitation, as well as to strengthen the Organization’s leadership and role as an honest broker for developing countries. LI reiterated the importance of capacity building in order to allow products to connect to markets, through testing and inspection.
The third project focuses on 'Capacity building facility for industry, technology and innovation policy', and will allow UNIDO's beneficiaries to take advantage of its learning facilities.
“The three projects are a strong signal of the Government’s commitment to UNIDO,” said Permanent Representative Däuble. “This support was further highlighted by the presence of Minister Müller during the 50th anniversary of UNIDO. We are looking forward to having more cooperation with UNIDO.”
UNIDO Chief Li expressed his gratitude for Germany’s support, which is one of UNIDO’s main donors. He added that he is looking forward to the fast and high quality delivery of these three projects, as well as of the many more joint projects to come.
The latest steps in UNIDO's relations with Germany follow on Li's visit to Germany from May 2 to May 4, during which he also visited Bonn. The Federal City's Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan and Ingrid Jung, representative of the Federal Foreign Office, responsible for United Nations organizations in Bonn, welcomed Li. [IDN-InDepthNews – 29 November 2016]
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.
Photo: German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Gerd Müller and the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), LI Yong. Credit: UNIDO