Moving LDCs out of ‘the trap’
The panel discussion, entitled ‘Are LDCs moving out of the trap? What is the impact of international support measures?’, brought together experts to provide their analysis and to comment on the findings of the study ‘Out of the trap: supporting the least developed countries.’
ITC Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Jean-Marie Paugam, said that while decades-old policies have hampered LDCs’ development, there are also new challenges which the countries face. ‘The economic landscape is being revolutionized and LDCs’ trade now operates in a world trading system that is being shaped by brand new forces.’
He pointed to two dynamics in particular. First, to the role of emerging economies, which he said are, ‘not only markets driving the growth of world trade and LDCs’ exports, but are also increasingly becoming players of the development policies in favor of LDCs.’
Mr. Paugam said that the second major revolution is the new dynamic from the private sector: an increasing fragmentation of the global value chains. ‘New trends and preferences from consumers are emerging,’ he said, referring to ethical, sustainable, environmental and social preferences. ‘Some of these trends are adversely impacting LDCs exports, as in the case of major international buyers applying voluntary standards. Others, such as the demand for organic products, can play a positive role for LDCs.’
Other panelists included Debapriya Bhattacharya, Former Ambassador at WTO, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh; Arthur Kafando, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Burkina Faso; Jaime de Melo, Professor at University of Geneva, Switzerland and Senior Fellow at Ferdi ; Taffere Tesfachew, UNCTAD Director Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes; and Sirisamphanh Vorachith, DG of Planning and Cooperation Department, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR.
The experts spoke on issues including whether the recovery trend of LDCs economies show a structural change, the impact of trade preferential measures and the impact of Official Development Assistance.
Mr. Paugam offered several suggestions to amplify what is already being done to help LDCs access the trading system and benefit from it. ‘For example, through providing better access to, and ensuring transparency on, international trade; support in climbing the value chain ladder; support in export diversification; and support for regional integration and South-South linkages.’
For more information on the panel discussion and the study ‘Out of the trap: supporting the least developed countries’, please visit the FERDI web site.