Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    8 September 2015

    Re-issued as received

    UNIDO ready to help countries along maritime and land Silk Road accelerate sustainable industrialization, says Director General Li

    XIAMEN/VIENNA, 8 September (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - Unlocking the potential for investments in infrastructure, industry, trade and services in the countries along the maritime and land Silk Road is crucial for the future of the region, said the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

    "UNIDO supports the revival of the maritime and land Silk Road and attaches great importance to the inclusive and sustainable features of this great transformation, especially as it relates to industrial development," said Director General LI Yong.

    "Industry has no future unless it is sustainable. Therefore, sustainable industrial production systems - or Green Industry -- can and should become a hallmark of the continental and maritime Silk Roads. This will help ensure not only investment and growth, but also the preservation of natural and environmental resources that are critical to long-term economic growth and the foundation for human development."

    Director General Li is in Xiamen to attend the 19 th China International fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), as well as an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank forum on investment opportunities in the countries along the Maritime Silk Road, and the New Silk Road Development Symposium.

    In 2013, China proposed building a Silk Road Economic Belt and a Maritime Silk Road, aiming to revive the ancient trade route on both land and sea, build regional trade networks and enhance regional connectivity and integration.

    UNIDO fully recognizes the urgent need to create jobs and has successfully initiated the development of a modular concept what is known today as the UNIDO Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Programme, which has so far been successfully implemented in 42 countries around the world. UNIDO also supports capacity-building initiatives, partnerships, and the sharing of knowledge and best practices to promote private sector development in manufacturing industries, with particular emphasis on improving the competitiveness of enterprises, mobilizing investments, developing business linkages and facilitating access to appropriate technologies. 

    UNIDO is currently implementing a number of technical cooperation projects in the maritime and continental Silk Road. It promotes the Green Industry concept that focuses on the greening of new and existing industries, and has supported the development of guidelines for the establishment of eco-industrial parks and special economic zones. UNIDO is also developing multi-purpose platforms involving public-private partnerships to facilitate interregional cooperation on capacity-building, private sector and small and medium enterprises development, renewable energy development, trade capacity-building, and the transfer and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies. UNIDO supports the development of local productive capacities and responsible investments in a private sector-led process, and promotes the upgrading of industrial enterprises and technical support institutions that drive the economic growth process

    Speaking about the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank( AIIB), Director General Li said that its establishment will complement the resources and efforts of existing investment and development finance institutions, and assist in filling the current deficit in infrastructure financing.

    "Many of the countries along the Silk Road lack the necessary capacities to strategically plan and implement inclusive and sustainable industrial development policies. There is therefore a convergence of interests between the AIIB and UNIDO and a significant potential for collaboration. This cooperation can help facilitate and promote investment through infrastructure development and accelerate industrialization," said Li.

    "UNIDO has the expertise and competencies to provide a number of services to help build investor confidence. These include: the development of appropriate policies to promote Green Industry; the establishment of appropriate structures and systems, norms and standards; the development of guidelines and mechanisms to support/enable the sustainability of industrial investment projects; the development of quality, energy and environment management systems; the strengthening of research and development infrastructure, and industrial innovation system."

    Achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development requires strategic and direct partnerships with development finance institutions. Within the partnerships, UNIDO's technical assistance interventions are designed to effectively support larger flows of resources, thereby triggering a stronger impact on the ground.

    UNIDO has recently established new agreements with a number of national and international development banks, including the China Development Bank and the EXIM Bank of China, the European Investment Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to foster and promote economic growth for greater economic and regional cooperation.

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    For more information, please contact:

    Weixi GONG
    UNIDO Senior Coordinator for South-South and Triangular Industrial Cooperation
    Email: w.gong[at]