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Falling oil prices top agenda at UN event

09 April 2015, 12:57Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - The spectacular fall in prices for oil and other commodities since mid-2014 countries will be among key issues discussed by participants of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development sixth annual Global Commodities Forum at the Palais des Nations in Switzerland next week.

The meeting, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, comes on the back of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, bearing the brunt of the falling prices/

From recent highs of approximately US$100 per barrel in June 2014, oil prices dropped to less than $50 dollars in early 2015, which is also a 40 percent drop from the ten-year average of just over $80.

Analysts said the government budgets of oil-producing developing countries are particularly vulnerable to such price movements.

Also Read: Oil delta quiet as militants weigh options after Jonathan defeat

“For example, at the height of the supercycle, the governments of Angola, Nigeria and Chad drew 70 percent or more of their revenues from their oil sector. Revenues plunged as prices dropped, forcing these governments to slash spending, freeze construction of new projects and delay the payment of civil servants' salaries,” organisers said ahead of the event.

Among the sessions at the forum will be a debate on the prospects for renewable energy sources in a lower-carbon energy mix, given the recent fall in oil prices.
A debate on the prospects for renewable energy sources in a lower-carbon energy mix will be among the sessions that follow the keynote speeches.

The session seeks to emphasize that government policies are important in establishing investment incentives, such as fiscal concessions, to promote renewable energy technologies.

Meanwhile, the UNCTAD Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi, and UNCTAD Trade and Development Board President, Ana Maria Menéndez Pérez of Spain, will officially open the 2015 Global Commodities Forum: "Trade in Commodities: Challenges and Opportunities."

- CAJ News

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