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.




Events of the last twelve months have demonstrated yet again the strengths and weaknesses of the globalization process, and have also confirmed the need for effective governance and management of the world economy. During 1997 world output expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent, improving on the 3.0 per cent growth in 1996. Rapid growth in trade was shared by all the regions of the world, recording an impressive 9.5 per cent increase in 1997. Trade in manufactured goods increased as a share of global goods trade to around 75 per cent. 1997 was also the year when the Asian financial crisis pushed the East Asian miracle economies into recession, with large falls in real output being recorded for the first time in recent decades. It was also the year when the adverse effects of El Niño were felt in many of the world’s least developed countries, a vivid reminder of their continuing vulnerability to the vagaries of the weather and unpredictable natural disasters.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error