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The Least Developed Countries Report 2004

Linking International Trade with Poverty Reduction

image of The Least Developed Countries Report 2004

This annual report reviews recent economic trends in the least developed countries (LDCs), focusing on their efforts to escape the poverty trap. The 2004 edition, examines the relationship between international trade and poverty within LDC’s, and identifies national and international policies that can make trade a more effective mechanism for poverty reduction in these countries. It also reveals the obstacles faced by LDCs when they implemented deep trade liberalization measures in the 1990s. The report is a valuable source of information for government officials, academics, researchers, the media, and members of public and private sector interested in the social and economic advancement of developing countries.

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Selected recent policy trends: Accession of LDCs to the WTO

A rule-based multilateral trading system provides transparency, stability and predictability with respect to market access conditions and various other trade related issues. The provision of these public goods is intended not simply to promote the development of trade relations but also to foster the economic prosperity of trading partners. As the preamble to the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization states, “relations in the field of trade and economic endeavours should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living, ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand, and expanding the production of and trade in goods and services, while allowing for the optimal use of the world’s resources in accordance with the objective of sustainable development, seeking both to protect and preserve the environment and to enhance the means for doing so in a manner consistent with their [i.e. the Parties to the Agreement] respective needs and concerns at different levels of economic development”. Like their trading partners, the LDCs view their participation in the multilateral trading system as a means of integrating into the global economy and maximizing their benefits from international trade. However, achieving this depends on supportive terms of accession.

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