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The Least Developed Countries Report 1998

image of The Least Developed Countries Report 1998

The main focus of the 1998 Least Developed Countries Report, is an analysis of how different aspects of the multilateral trading system affect opportunities and constraints, for least developed countries (LDCs) to enhance their participation in the world economy. The Report examines the evolving interface between trade issues and the development objectives of LDCs. It analyses, in particular, several aspects of the multilateral trading system which traditionally have not been the main focus of concern to LDCs, but which are rapidly becoming important as these countries attempt to diversify their economies and enhance their involvement in the global economy. The Report also focuses on two other issues: implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements by LDCs and how implementation by the developed countries is likely to affect LDCs; and how the process of accession could be expedited for the LDCs which are not members of WTO, while ensuring that they enjoy the same rights and concessions as current LDC members.

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LDCs and Accession to the World Trade Organization

The economic and institutional integration of LDCs in the world economy and international trading system is a major challenge to the international community. These countries risk being further marginalized in the liberalized global economy unless they can adapt to the new competitive international environment. To do this, LDCs will need to take action, with the active support of the international community, in the following areas: improving their domestic supply response; improving market access; and strengthening their capacity for participation in the multilateral trading system, including accession to WTO by those LDCs which are not WTO members.

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