Speech by State Secretary for Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

30 November, 2009

- Thank you, Mr. Director-General. On behalf of the Government of Japan, allow me to say a few words.

- The financial and economic crisis of the autumn of last year has directly hit the Least Developed Countries. I congratulate Director-General Lamy for hosting this timely breakfast to take up the issue of the Enhanced Integrated Framework, or EIF, which is important for the development of LDCs.

- For the LDCs to overcome the tough realities of global trade today, it is essential that we facilitate their further integration into global trade. We should seek to bring the Doha Round negotiations to an early conclusion, as the Doha Round is really a 'Development Round' and would therefore bring great benefit to developing countries. Japan will, for its part, exert its efforts towards an early conclusion of the negotiations, building on the accomplishments that we have made so far.

- In order to integrate the LDCs into the multilateral trading system and enable them to gain from the conclusion of this Round, "Aid for Trade" is necessary. "Trade liberalization" and "Aid for Trade" are inseparably linked, essential elements for developing countries to overcome the crisis through achieving economic growth.

- In July, Japan announced its "Development Initiative for Trade 2009," in which we pledged to provide 12 billion US dollars in the three years between 2009 and 2011. With this, Japan will support the development of ports and roads, as well as the training of customs officers, as part of our trade-related ODA.

- The EIF plays an important role in mainstreaming "Aid for Trade" and enabling the LDCs to use resources effectively. Japan has contributed some 320 thousand US dollars to the EIF Trust Fund. Japan appreciates that the EIF has finally become operational after the economic crisis and its projects are starting to move forward. The EIF has a responsibility to prove, by its future operations, that it is truly enhanced. I look to the initiative of the Executive Director of the EIF to ensure early and smooth project implementation.

- Multilateral funds have an important role to play in Aid for Trade. Having said that, we do have concerns over the fact that the EIF Trust Fund has accumulated huge fund balances during the period of transition from the IF. It is imperative to get the project implementation of the EIF moving steadily forward.

- I would like to conclude by saying that, although faced with a tough fiscal situation, Japan intends to duly contribute when we find that the EIF's activities are moving on track.

Thank you.

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