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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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Implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements

Much of the pre– and post–Uruguay Round literature has concentrated on the benefits that would accrue to the world as a whole and to different groups of countries as a result of the successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. The speed and scope of implementation of the Uruguay Round agreements by both the developed and the developing countries has received little attention in the debate on their impact on LDCs. However, the first WTO Ministerial Conference, held in Singapore in December 1996, has highlighted the serious problems being encountered by developing countries in implementing the agreements. During the Conference, it emerged that the manner in which developed countries implemented the agreements and fulfilled other obligations they had undertaken during the Uruguay Round could have implications for the market access of developing countries.

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