HomeUnited NationsSupport Least Developed Countries in Their ‘Journey from Potential to Prosperity’, Secretary-General...

Support Least Developed Countries in Their ‘Journey from Potential to Prosperity’, Secretary-General Tells Private Sector Forum

The seeds of success are there.  Least developed countries are home to countless small and medium-sized enterprises ripe for expansion — and an innovative, ambitious and energetic population eager for opportunities.Least developed countries have enormous untapped potential in so many other sectors.  With the right support, investments, regulatory environment and partnerships, these sectors can thrive, create high-value, sustainable jobs, and drive structural transformation. Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the private sector forum at the fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, in Doha today: Taking these industries to the next level requires investment, financing, and innovation from the private sector. The Doha Programme of Action is an ambitious road map to lift least developed countries out of poverty.  However, true, lasting development and prosperity depends on creating sustainable economic opportunities that can power progress for decades to come. The five thematic areas under discussion demonstrate the many entry points for businesses and investors.  Sustainable energy.  Agriculture and rural development.  Climate change.  Digital connectivity.  And sustainable tourism. In all that we do, let’s be guided by the compass of the Doha Programme of Action, and let’s support least developed countries as they make the journey from potential to prosperity. I also urge you to keep exploring ways to boost foreign direct investment beyond extractive industries. I welcome the new partnerships you are discussing at this forum — including initiatives to accelerate sustainable tourism, support women’s employment, and increase digital transformation. I’m also calling on multilateral development banks to transform their business model and accept a new approach to risk.  This includes massively leveraging their funds to attract greater flows of private finance into least developed countries.


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