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United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Established in 1964, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) takes on the role of promoter of “development-friendly integration” of developing countries into the world economy. It draws on its extensive knowledge base to help shape policy and thinking on development, with a commitment to sustainability.

UNCTAD is perhaps best known in the shipping industry for its Review of Maritime Transport, which has been published annually since 1968. The review gives fascinating statistics and reports on the worldwide evolution of shipping, ports and multimodal transport related to the major traffics of liquid bulk, dry bulk and containers.

But data collection and research functions are just part of UNCTAD’s daily routine; it also acts as a forum for intergovernmental debates, and provides technical assistance specifically tailored to developing countries, working with member Governments and interacting with institutions, non-governmental organisations, trade and industry associations, research institutes and universities around the world. The organisation has also had a long experience in assisting with port management, pricing and policies, promoting imports and exports, under the guise of a facilitator more than an enforcer.