Minding the trade gap: What lies ahead for Least Developed Countries

In the last two decades, there has been a boom in world trade driven by large reductions in trade barriers and unprecedented interlinkages among countries, and South-South trade has grown. Yet the world's poorest nations, designated Least Developed Countries (LDCs), engage in less than 1% of global trade while home to 13% of the world’s population. It is clear LDCs are facing barriers that hamper their ability to trade – barriers that include entry to international markets, support to the domestic private sector, and how to best seek out new regional and global opportunities.

The opening plenary of the EIF Global Forum brought together world leaders to initiate an urgent call to action to leverage trade to combat poverty and inequality, with speakers pointing to the growing trade gap with LDCs, addressing the key obstacles LDCs are facing in the world today, and paving the way forward.

Moderator:

  • Sarah Beeching, Executive Director of Oshun Partnership

Speakers:

  • Roberto Azêvedo (video address), Director-General of the World Trade Organization
  • Julian Braithwaite, UK Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO in Geneva
  • Hassan Come, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Central African Republic
  • Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, Vice-President and Minster for Women's Affairs of The Gambia
  • Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

The Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for LDCs would not have been possible without the financial support of the EIF Trust Fund Donors and additional Forum sponsors, including International Islamic Tade Finance CorporationTrade Facilitation Agreement Facility and German Development Cooperation