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The Least Developed Countries Report 2014

Growth with Structural Transformation - Post-2015 Development Agenda for LDCs

image of The Least Developed Countries Report 2014

As we reach the target date to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the LDC Report analyses the performance of the LDCs in progressing towards these goals and provides a framework for their development policies in the post-2015 period. The Report shows that there is a high degree of differentiation among LDCs’ performance towards the MDGs, but most of these countries will not be able to attain most MDGs. This disappointing outcome is surprising given that LDCs have experienced historically high economic growth rates over the last 20 years, and domestic and international policies for LDCs have set MDGs as top priority. In the coming post-2015 period, the LDCs will face the challenge of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), for which structural transformation will be a precondition.

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Overview

At the beginning of the millennium the least developed countries (LDCs) enjoyed the strongest and longest growth rates since the 1970s, benefiting from sustained global growth, surging commodity prices and buoyant capital flows. Between 2000 and 2008, the average annual growth of the group’s real gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded 7 per cent, raising hopes that some LDCs may be able to graduate from this category within the present decade. However, since the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008 and the drastic change in external conditions, LDCs have experienced a slowdown of economic activity. As a result, their economic growth has been much weaker during the past five years and well below the target rate of 7 per cent annual growth established in the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), and considered necessary for attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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