Helping or Hindering
Least Developed Countries
Trade has been a powerful engine of growth
in the last 50 years.
Trade has contributed to lifting millions out of
Open trade is touted as a means for countries
to develop and prosper economically.
The WTO System
created to promote a more open, ﬂuid global trade
entrusted with the authority to dictate measures for its
Members to open their markets to trade.
uphold itself as an equitable system aspiring to bring
prosperity to all nations.
unfair rules and regulations Trade liberalization has
for LDCs contributed to further
marginalization of the
LDCs receiving fewer
beneﬁts of globalization but
are exposed to LDCs cannot afford to be
proportionately more of the outside the WTO-too small,
costs and risks. not enough leverage.
In 2007, 49 countries listed as LDCs
33 in Africa, 15 in Asia, 1 in Latin America
In the late 1960s, the United Nations began paying special attention
to LDCs and introduced LDC category to refer to the poorest
In 2000, UN created 3 criteria for determining LDC status based on
GDP per capita, quality of life, and GDP shares of agriculture,
manufacturing, exports, and other economic indicators.
Global prosperity has
bypassed more than one
tenth of the world
population who live in
the poorest countries.
LDCs continue to be
marginalized in the
global trade world
and some efforts to
change this situation
within the WTO and it
The pace of
marginalization of the
LDCs has been
increasing in the
since the 1980s
levels of growth and
benefits for developed
the US, EU, and Japan.
Why has this commitment for prosperity for all not occurred? Has
the WTO failed to bring about a shift in global consciousness
through trade to enhance economic development and well being
Income gaps between rich and
poor nations on the rise since
the 2nd wave of globalization
in the 1950s and have widened
further since the 1980s and
have never been wider than
30 to 1 in 1960
60 to 1 in 1990
74 to 1 in 1997
GATT: objective to raise standard of living across the globe.
Did not contain special provisions for LDCs.
Uruguay Round: more consideration of LDCs, however still
marginalized. LDCs acted out of fear and coerced into signing
agreements not understood.
Doha has sought to coalesce trade issues with development
and poverty alleviation.
Each Round since Uruguay has expressed a commitment to a more
equitable system and implementing certain rules ( duty free access,
expanding market access for LDC goods, particularly textiles and
agriculture) to support LDCs.
simplest way to beneﬁt the developing countries
more advantageous to LDC growth
should give more attention to LDCs concerns and need
nearly $100 billion gain in terms of increased
$500 billion in trade in services.
Another $100 billion by taking away
Developing countries projected to reap two
thirds of these gains.
predominant economic activity of LDCs
70% of populations live in rural areas
97% engaged in agriculture
This area has the greatest initial potential for economic
development in LDCs yet has experienced the most
protracted, prolonged, and deliberate trade protections in
The greatest challenge in current globalization is to
devise schemes or programs that successfully
integrate the LDCs into the global economic system
Time for developed countries to show
leadership and start implementing sound
Will take bold, enlightened leaders in
developed and developing countries.
A willingness of developed countries to assist