UNIDO to draw up action plan for South-South cooperation with Afri

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New Delhi, Sept 16 (UNI) The blueprint of an action plan to promote South-South cooperation with the Africa countries will be drawn up soon by the UNIDO Centre For South-South Industrial Cooperation (UCSSIC).

The decision was taken during the week-long international conference on India-Africa Cooperation on Industry, Trade and Investment which concluded on Friday.

The conference was jointly organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in cooperation with the Indian government under the aegis of the UCSSIC, an official statement said.

The selected industry sectors for cooperation would include cluster development, pharmaceuticals, low-cost housing and building materials, renewable energy, leather, ICT applications in industry, food processing and traditional knowledge and traditional medicines.

Participants from 13 African countries evinced keen interest in cluster development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the statement said.

Describing the discussions as productive and useful, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ajay Shanker said it has helped create a critical mass of interaction and personal relationships which need to be built up to carry the process of South-South cooperation forward.

He also underlined the need and space for creative industrial policies and programmes, which would lead to results.

DIPP's Joint Secretary N N Prasad stressed the need building on the momentum generated by the event through country-specific action plans and monitoring progress.

UNIDO's Regional Director Philippe Scholtes spoke of the interest being expressed by developing countries to share best practices for industrial development.

He said UNIDO was setting up a global network of South-South centres, which included the UCSSIC established earlier this year in India. A similar centre will be set up soon in China.

Mr Scholtes said the conference marked the first step in the road to stronger trade and industrial relations with Africa, brokered by UNI

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