Greater regional integration urged to help landlocked countries

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a reception for the UN Victims Trust Fund in Vienna, Austria. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Governments around the world have been urged to work towards greater regional integration to improve links between landlocked and coastal countries.

The appeal was made by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the second UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LDCs) which opened in Vienna, Austria on Monday.

He said over the past 11 years there has been progress in improving the situation of landlocked developing countries which have exported more merchandise and increased their share of trade.

However, Mr. Ban added, transportation costs are still high, export income is limited and imports are expensive for the LDCs.

"We need greater regional integration. This will strengthen trade ties. It will create more dynamic economic groupings. Regional integration can transform countries from being landlocked to land-linked.  Development partners should do more to help attract investment and forge partnerships between government and industries. And we need to facilitate more trade." (28")

The UN Secretary-General said landlocked developing countries also need help in boosting agricultural productivity, adding value to products and improving marketing.

He called on the conference in Vienna to adopt what he called "a comprehensive, ambitious and results-oriented programme".

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1'47"


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