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Zuma calls for greater access to global markets

President Jacob Zuma has called for greater access to global markets for developing countries.

Speaking after a working visit to Hangzhou in China where he took part in the Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit‚ Zuma said that with regard to international trade and investment‚ innovation‚ fair trade and investment were important ingredients for sustainable and inclusive growth.

“Our trade and investment policies should be designed to enable countries to improve competitiveness and gain access to markets‚ to successfully participate in the global economy‚” Zuma said.

He also called for the strengthening of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the principal body to negotiate trade related matters.

 This entailed working towards the early conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda in line with the development mandate and improving market access for exports of developing countries‚ he added.

On the issue of inclusive and interconnected development‚ Zuma stated that industrialisation‚ infrastructure development‚ intra-Africa trade and curbing illicit financial flows were crucial goals for the development of the African continent as stipulated in Agenda 2063.

 In this regard‚ South Africa’s proposal that illicit financial flows from trade mispricing be studied by the World Trade Organisation was accepted.

 This challenge‚ if addressed‚ had the potential to unlock millions of dollars that could be used by African governments to the implementation of the SDGs and their development programmes‚ Zuma said.

With regard to the 4th Industrial Revolution‚ Zuma said that: “For Africa not to be left behind‚ we must ensure the transfer of technology and investment in skills. In this regard‚ protection of intellectual property rights should not be used to exclude or create barriers to Africa’s industrialisation. We further recognize that without peace and security there can be no sustainable development or meaningful economic growth.”