The paper projects lack of integration into the global economy as a major factor in the continued underdevelopment of the poorest countries. The reasons for this include obstacles faced by exporters both abroad and at home: access to foreign markets is frequently limited by import barriers, while inadequate infrastructure and weak policies at home—including their own trade policies—often frustrate producers seeking to compete abroad.
With many low-income countries (LICs) lagging in the global effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there are calls for intensified action to spur growth and development. Trade is one key area where action can be taken. This paper suggests possible actions to foster trade integration for the LICs, substantially increasing their export potential and thereby helping them to progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.
As the foundation for these ambitions, the paper emphasises the role of a secure, open global trading environment—strengthened further by concluding the WTO Doha Round. The Fifteen Point Plan of possible actions outlined in this paper could increase annual exports of the least developed countries (LDCs) by US$10 billion or more, with additional benefits for other LICs. Click here to access the full paper.