ESCAP News In Brief: March 20, 2014

Latest news updates from ESCAP.

Urgent need to address youth unemployment in South Asia concludes United Nations seminar

A failure to address the emerging issue of youth unemployment could have serious adverse economic and social consequences for the South and South-West Asia region, concluded a seminar discussion in New Delhi on Friday 7 March on industrialization and manufacturing. The session, organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) South and South-West Asia Office, together with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), also reflected upon the centrality of employment and productive activities to the life of individuals and economies in a region where one fifth of the population is aged between 15 and 24 years. High levels of poverty persisted in South Asia, it was explained because the impressive structural transformation seen over the past 50 years this has been services-oriented rather than manufacturing-oriented, unlike in East Asia. This sector, although growing quickly, has failed to provide jobs in a commensurate manner, creating an employment-output mismatch.

Experts gather in Mongolia to share experiences on simplifying trade processes

Case studies on paperless trade facilitation in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Senegal formed the basis of a workshop held in Mongolia to build on the country’s progress in eliminating unnecessary customs documents in trade flows. The session, which closed on Friday 14 March, brought together 50 experts, government officials and stakeholders to discuss and share experiences, also underlined that a key bottleneck in implementing the single window (paperless) system has been securing necessary funding. In this vein, it was recognized that the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry was working on improving paperless procedures for foreign trade, through improving laws and regulations required and that private sector investment and loans and grants from development partners could be considered to continue progress in the future. As a result of the workshop, the experts also proposed that the Single Window Master plan for Mongolia was to be earmarked for review.