UNCTAD promotes foreign investment in agriculture

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in agriculture—a long-neglected sector—tripled between the start of the decade and the onset of the global recession, climbing from US $2 billion in 2000 to $6 billion in 2006-2008.

If well-managed, this investment promises to help developing countries create jobs and improve farm productivity in future, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General told a ministerial conference of Asia-Pacific countries recently.
But Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told the meeting that when agricultural FDI resumes its growth—having fallen slightly during the financial crisis—steps should be taken by governments to ensure that it is “mutually beneficial for investors and the development objectives of host countries”.
While global FDI dropped by almost 40 per cent during the 2009 financial crisis, total APEC exports to the rest of the world only declined by 14 per cent, and agricultural exports only fell by half as much—7 per cent. “The figures point to the greater robustness of the agriculture sector in APEC countries.”

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