The least developed countries (LDCs) are a group of 50 countries identified by the UN as being 'least developed' in terms of low GDP per capita, high levels of extreme poverty and a high degree of economic vulnerability. This report argues that, although international trade can play a key role in helping to reduce poverty levels within the LDCs, this is not happening in practice. The failure in trade expansion is due to various factors, including the effects of civil conflicts, and the tendency for export expansion to be associated with exclusionary rather than an inclusive form of economic growth. Although most LDCs implemented trade liberalisation reforms in the 1990s and received some degree of preferential market access, severe challenges still persist in their achieving the desired benefits from the multilateral trading system. The report highlights three key policy areas where action is needed in order to establish a more effective interaction between international trade and poverty reduction.
Publisher: United Nations
Number of pages: 504
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