UN trade chief says finance should not be the "master" of development

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UNCTAD chief Supachai Panitchpakdi

As the world moves to recover from recession, finance should be used to better serve development goals.

That is the message from the head of the UN Trade and Development Conference (UNCTAD), speaking on the eve of its latest meeting which opens in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.

UNCTAD chief Supachai Panitchpakdi said financial markets and institutions have become the masters rather than the servants of the real economy over the past three decades.

This, he said, has distorted trade and investment, heightened inequality levels and threatened economic stability.

"Finance should not be the master of development. Whether it should be the slave of development is something else, but finance should serve development, in a way that finance should help mobilize savings to be put into investment that can help to create jobs and productive activities, so that people can earn their keeps, and support their family, education, health and give revenue to the government, but finance should not be enriching only finance-related entities and activities. We think financial development has gone too far and needs to be tamed."

Representatives from the 194 member states of UNCTAD are discussing the current state of the world economy at the Doha meeting, which runs through 26 April.

Duration: 44″

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