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.



Trade in services: New opportunities for LDCs

One of the defining characteristics of globalization has been the growing internationalization of services. Trade in commercial services, which include travel, transport, communications and financial and professional services, accounted for about 25 per cent of world trade in 1996. In the first half of the 1990s, service exports in developing and newly-industrializing regions grew twice as fast as in the developed economies, outstripping growth rates for the export of goods (World Bank, 1997). Developments in communications and information technology, which have facilitated the movement of information and organizational change in the delivery of services, have promoted the growth in trade services (particularly in commercial services) by transnational firms.


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