session 8 : Least developed countries
The economies of least-developed countries (LDCs) had been steadily improving until the global economic meltdown in 2008, and are currently on the path of a faltering recovery.
Growth is still being generated mainly by exports of raw materials and semi-processed products to the markets of developed countries and major emerging economies. The new investments are predominantly targeting LDCs’ natural resources, and are creating jobs and value-added only in the short-term. Opportunities for the export of services continue to remain very limited.
Growth in these countries has done little to create sustainable employment opportunities and add value to the products exported or to help find new markets. In an increasingly volatile economic environment, coupled with stalled delivery of the WTO Doha Development Agenda, diversification and flexibility of LDC economies have become a critical necessity. This need has been accentuated by the emerging shifts in trade and investment flows and their changing institutional arrangements.
LDCs are facing a serious dilemma about the prospect of structural transformation of their economies. One of the important questions is how to make a decisive step forward which would include increasing the opportunities for exports of goods and services and creating an economic framework conducive for investments and trade expansion.
The proposed session will concentrate on the following two key areas:
• the diversification of export base and the opening up of new export markets :
►Presentation by Jaime de Melo (Ferdi) : LDCs at the crossroads: status quo or sustainable development?
►Presentation by Vinaye Ancharaz (ICTSD) : Promoting Export Diversification in African LDCs
• creating a predictable and transparent economic framework.
Session 8 agenda and speakers
Participants to session 8
Session 41 : Global trade governance
The nature of trade governance in the 21st century is critically influenced by the changed nature of international commerce. Over the past two decades, trade has changed substantially. Twentieth century trade was conceptually simple - it meant goods crossing borders, and trade agreements were correspondingly simple.
In the 21st century, following the “second unbundling” of globalization, international trade flows have become far more complex, involving multiple exchanges of goods, services and investment, together with managerial, technical, design and marketing know-how embodied in offshored production networks. Trade today requires doing business abroad and managing a network of connective productive facilities.
This changed nature of international commerce requires a new type of international trade governance. Many policies and practices that were viewed as primary domestic in the 20th century have become international trade issues in the
21st century. This session explores the set of issues arising from these changes and what they mean for public policy.
Presentation by Jaime de Melo : Implications of negotiation failures on Environmental Goods and Services at the Doha Roundfor global trade governance