WTO members explore ways make LDC economies buoyant

Published : 02 Jun 2023 09:08 PM

WTO members discussed initiatives aimed at strengthening the economic output of the world’s poorest countries at a meeting of the Sub-Committee on Least-Developed Countries (LDCs) on 31 May. 

Angola, Rwanda and international organizations shared their experiences in improving LDCs’ economic capacity.

“Strengthening the productive capacity in LDCs is an important priority for the international community.  It has been recognized in the Doha Programme of Action for LDCs for the next decade,” said Ambassador Erik Brøgger Rasmussen, chair of the LDC Sub-Committee. 

The purpose of the meeting, he added, is to “look at some of the ongoing efforts aimed at strengthening productive capacity in LDCs and how some of the good practices can be scaled up.”

Supporting economic diversification and strengthening trade institutions in LDCs featured prominently in the discussions, with several speakers stressing that trade policy and trade facilitation reforms are among the private sector's top recommendations.

Angola presented a project it is undertaking in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) aimed at supporting economic diversification, strengthening institutional capacity and deepening Angola's integration into regional and global trade. 

“We need to strengthen economic resilience to external shocks and address climate-related vulnerabilities,” Angola's Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Amadeu Nunes, said. We are currently working with UNCTAD in developing a strategy to pave the way for graduation from LDC status, he added.

Rwanda's Director General for Trade and Investment, Antoine Karangwa, said: “Our cooperation with the World Bank builds on Rwanda’s national priorities. Together, we are working to improve connectivity, foster export diversification, boost services trade, harness the potential of regional blocs and attract foreign direct investment into our country.” 

Mr Kajangwe  presented a trade facilitation project which has  brought about greater coordination of border management across the country.

The (OECD) outlined its support for economic transformation in Bangladesh and Togo. Transforming what these countries produce, consume and trade, promoting renewable energies, boosting digitalization and furthering regional and continental integration are among the objectives being pursued, it said.

The World Bank highlighted that its Aid-For-Trade initiatives in LDCs range from diagnostics and institutional strengthening to budget support for key trade policy reforms and investment lending for productive capacity.