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The Least Developed Countries Report 1996

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Reviews recent socio-economic development in the least developed countries (LDCs) and the progress in the implementation of support measures. Chapters deal with such issues as possibilities of further debt-relief, role of micro-enterprises and the role of women and environmental problems in the LDCs. The main theme of the 1996 Report is the impact of globalization and liberalization on the LDCs.

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Recent trends in external finance and debt

As regards all developing countries, the first half of the 1990s has been characterized by an upsurge in capital inflows and by a change in the composition of these flows, with the net flow of official development finance decreasing in relative importance. While the resource flow was earlier dominated by official flows and commercial bank lending to public-sector borrowers, the recent increase has largely taken the form of private direct investment and portfolio flows to private-sector borrowers. At the same time as LDCs have been affected by the stagnation in official development assistance (ODA), they have captured little of the increase in private flows.

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