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Implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries in Asia and the Pacific Region

A Decade of Achievments and Development Challenges 2001-2010

image of Implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries in Asia and the Pacific Region
This publication is addressed to the policy makers and their development partners and other stakeholders to generate constructive dialogues and exchange of information in shaping the future course of action in support of the development aspirations of the Asia-Pacific LDCs. It is a major contribution towards understanding the complex and evolving development challenges and gaps faced by the Asia-Pacific LDCs during 2001-2010. It is hoped that the analyses and policy options offered in this publication will assist the LDC leaders and other stakeholders in sketching a new programme of action by the Fourth UN Conference on LDCs for the benefit of some of the most vulnerable and marginalized countries in the world.

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Asia-Pacific regional review

The least developed countries (LDCs) in the Asia-Pacific region are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The LDCs are typically (though not always) among the poorest in the region and the world and tend to be more economically vulnerable. This vulnerability stems, inter alia, from the following: poor infrastructure facilities, in particular transport, which prevent integration of the economy; a high degree of risk exposure due to natural calamities; a lack of diversification of the economic structure; inadequate education and health facilities; and low savings rates, which make the task of economic and social transformation extremely difficult in the absence of substantial inflows of foreign aid. Thus, of the eight LDCs discussed in this paper for which data are available from the World Bank, the savings rate in 2006 was less than 15 per cent in four of them, of which two had negative savings rates. In addition, many of the countries are characterized by major geographical handicaps due to being either small, remote landlocked countries or remote island economies.

English

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