Trade-Related Financial Services > United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Insurance

The UNCTAD Insurance Programme provides developing countries with technical assistance aimed at:

  • Helping establish competitive and efficient insurance markets and improving access to insurance services for the majority of developing countries’ populations, as well as their commercial sectors, so as to prepare those countries for further liberalization of their financial services sectors;
  • Providing technical support, advice, guidance and training for insurance supervisory authorities, particularly in the establishment of legal frameworks and supervisory practices geared to the development of sustainable competitive insurance markets;
  • Organizing training seminars/workshops to improve understanding of the role of supervision and enhance the competence and technical abilities of the staff of supervisory authorities;
  • Organizing events on the impact of liberalization.

For more information:
http://www.unctad.org/Templates/StartPage.asp?intItemID=4126&lang=1

Corporate transparency and accounting

UNCTAD helps developing countries participate in the processes that set internationally recognized accounting and reporting standards, and assists them in building the technical capacity and institutions needed for the implementation of such standards and codes. The centrepiece of the programme is the exchange of views and experiences on technical issues between experts from Member States through the annual sessions of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) and related workshops and round-tables. Key issues of concern include accounting, auditing, corporate governance and corporate responsibility. Best practice is disseminated through technical guidance on various aspects of corporate transparency and disclosure. Capacity building activities include training sessions in such areas as accounting by small and medium sized enterprises, the practical implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards, and the improvement of corporate governance disclosure and corporate responsibility reporting.

For more information: www.unctad.org/isar

Commodity risk management and finance tools

UNCTAD plays a leading role in assisting commodity-dependent countries to enhance their capacity to use modern commodity risk management and finance tools. Work in this area involves research, policy advice, training and technical cooperation activities geared to both the private and the public sectors. The following activities are emphasized:

  • Integration of commodity marketing, risk management and finance operations;
  • Creation of solutions to problems of access to commodity risk management and finance markets;
  • Training, development of manuals, and capacity building for banks, farmer’s associations, etc.;
  • Implementation of legal and regulatory frameworks to reduce transaction costs, and improved access to international commodity risk management and finance markets, including the means of reducing sovereign risk;
  • Better understanding of the functioning of commodity exchanges and the role of new groups of non-trade-related participants in commodity futures markets;
  • Development of regional and national commodity exchanges and new futures contracts;
  • Using market-based price risk management tools in schemes designed to stabilize the income of producers of commodities and to mitigate the impact of fluctuating commodity prices on government revenues;
  • Introduction of structured commodity finance, including asset-backed financing and the use of warehouse receipts as collateral.

For more information: http://www.unctad.info/en/Special-Unit-on-Commodities/

Commodity exchanges

Debt management programme – DMFAS

UNCTAD responds to the needs of countries for effective debt management, a central feature of financial stability and gaining creditor confidence. This is undertaken essentially through the Debt Management and Financial Analysis System (DMFAS) programme, which involves the provision of a computer-based debt management system, usually installed in central banks and/or ministries of finance. DMFAS, with a client base of about 65 countries, is the most widely used standard debt management system in the world. The objectives are:

  • To help developing countries and countries in transition develop appropriate administrative, institutional and legal structures for effective debt management;
  • To establish an adequate information system, with detailed and aggregated data on loan contracts, past and future disbursements, and past and future debt service payments;
  • To improve national capacity to define and select appropriate debt strategies;
  • To increase national capacity to record grants and projects financed from external resources, thereby contributing to aid management.

Through its implementation, substantial savings have been documented in avoiding unnecessary costs, such as overpayments to debtors or penalty interests.

The assistance given under the programme has three main features:

  • Advisory services, including needs assessment and advice on technical, administrative, legal and institutional debt management issues, and assistance in software installation and maintenance;
  • Software designed to meet the operational, statistical and analytical needs of debt managers and bodies involved in elaborating external debt strategies;
  • Training in the use of the software and in debt management issues in general.

For more information: http://r0.unctad.org/dmfas/

Contact: dmfas@unctad.org