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AuthorUnited Nations Conference on Trade and Development
TitleThe Least Developed Countries Report, 1999
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 1999
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Descript 214 pages


Abstract: Fifteenth in the series, is the main background document for the TDB annual review of progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the 1990s. The Report reviews socio-economic developments in LDCs and international support measures in their favour and makes a preliminary assessment of progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action during the 1990s. The Report raises three important questions that need to be addressed as a matter of priority by the international community and the LDCs themselves, and underlies the decision of the General Assembly to convene the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in 2001. First, why have past efforts, by both national and international actors, to address the development problems of LDCs failed to deliver the desired results? Second, what are the critical factors that continue to depress living standards and constrain the participation of LDCs in world trade at a level that is commensurate with their potential? Finally, how can such constraints be overcome in order to enhance the productive capacities and competitiveness of LDCs, and thereby restore hope not only for sheer survival but also for the sustained improvement of living standards among the millions in these countries in the new century? An examination of these issues in the Report reveals that underlying the LDCs' poor performance in world trade is their weak productive capacity and competitiveness, resulting from a host o structural and other supply-side constraints. The economic structures of these countries are dualistic and poorly integrated, and development interventions quite often bypass the majority of the people who still derive a livelihood from low-productivity traditional sectors. Firms are not specialized and markets for services are poorly developed, which in turn limits specialization and associated productivity capacities, like all other aspects of development, is a long, difficult and often frustrating process, but one which must be confronted by the Governments of LDCs and their development partners with unwavering resolve in a renewed spirit of solidarity and shared responsibility

International Institute for Trade and Developement : UNCTAD CollectionUNCTAD/LDC/1999CHECK SHELVES

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