Press Releases

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    4 November 2014

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    Remarks at High-level Luncheon of the Business Investment Forum

    Vienna, 4 November 2014

    (as prepared for delivery)

    VIENNA, 4 November (UN Information Service) - I thank the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the International Chamber of Commerce for convening this Forum with the United Nations. I really appreciate the fact that this Conference has a dedicated private sector event to support its goals.

    The private sector is a crucial partner in driving progress in landlocked developing countries. Businesses can help spur growth, innovation, diversification and transformation. They create jobs for young people and help all workers improve their skills.

    But landlocked developing countries face an inherent disadvantage. Compared to maritime countries, the cost of doing business is nearly double in LLDCs.

    These problems were closely analyzed eleven years ago at the first LLDCs conference in Almaty. But the development landscape has shifted dramatically. 

    Then, the focus was on lack of access to coastlines and geographical remoteness from major world markets. Now, we see more clearly the need to make rapid progress in these areas to promote economic diversification and competitiveness.

    Climate change also poses a major threat. Many LLDCs do not have the tools and resources they need to mitigate growing climate change impacts. They also are not prepared to cope with turbulence in financial and commodities markets.

    Landlocked developing countries are also struggling with low productivity in agriculture, manufacturing and the services.

    The international community must address the structural and economic problems facing LLDCs in a holistic, integrated and sustainable way. 

    This Conference is an opportunity to forge new partnerships and fill the financing gap.

    Governments must do their part to create a healthy environment for investment. That means fighting corruption, improving governance and encouraging entrepreneurship.

    I encourage representatives of the private sector to build partnerships between investors and local companies.

    The United Nations wants to work more closely with the private and public sectors to spread understanding about responsible investment based on universal principles.

    I hope business leaders will engage with the United Nations. We have many initiatives that show the power of partnerships with the private sector. On women's health, on education, on energy, nutrition and more the United Nations has set up structures to help responsible businesses contribute to human progress.

    I look forward to hearing from you how the United Nations can better work with the private sector and support landlocked developing countries as part of global mission to achieve a more just and sustainable future.

    Thank you.

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