The Least Developed Countries Report 2009

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The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are a group of countries that have been classified by the United Nations as least developed in terms of their low GDP per capita, their weak human assets and their high degree of economic vulnerability. This Report argues that the impact of the global economic crisis is likely to be so severe in LDCs that “business as usual” is no longer possible. The crisis offers the necessity and opportunity for change. The Report sketches out a concrete, alternative economic strategy and a fresh agenda for LDC policymakers, which includes institutional capacity-building and the strengthening of the market-complementing developmental State.

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Meeting the macroeconomic challenges

As discussed in the introduction to this Report, least developed countries (LDCs) are going to be severely affected by the current global financial crisis and global recession. The main channel of impact is not likely to be through the financial system, as LDCs’ financial sectors are weak and not tightly integrated with those of advanced countries, and they receive only modest inflows of private financial capital. However, LDCs are bound to be adversely — though differentially — affected by the slowdown in the real global economy, particularly through falling export revenues and declining workers’ remittances, as well as falling inflows of net private capital, particularly foreign direct investment (FDI).

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