Inclusive trade action for LDCs needed now, say LDC representatives

READ THE CALL TO ACTION HERE.

(Geneva) 14 June 2018 – For the first time, representatives from four Least Developed Countries (LDCs) from diverse parts of the African continent are coming together to lead a call for targeted trade action for LDCs. 

Their Call to Action affirms the role of trade as an engine for sustainable growth, reinforces the importance of the multilateral trading system and commits to inclusive trade policies.

Representatives from The Gambia, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Uganda are taking part in the Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), a first-of-its-kind event held at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and hosted by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF).

Gambia Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang said, “Action is needed to build synergies and strong partnerships, action is needed to fight poverty around the world, taking into consideration the significant contributions of women and youth entrepreneurs. Action is needed to foster inclusive trade.”

“Following the historic democratic change in government in The Gambia, we have been working tirelessly to make The Gambia a hub for inclusive trade and investments – we know there are challenges in improving the situation for all LDCs, which is why we are calling for more action."

Today there are 47 LDCs, which are the world’s poorest countries determined by a combination of three factors: per capita income, human assets like education and nutrition, and economic vulnerability. Despite strong efforts to incorporate LDCs into the global trading system, there is a widening trade gap. 

“We need to foster trade development in our countries as trade is the best weapon to fight poverty. And, importantly, that action will include women, who are so often part of informal economies,” said Her Royal Highness Princess of Burkina Faso Abze Djigma, who is supporting the Call to Action.

It is a critical time for LDCs, and the group called for concrete steps and joint action for more inclusive trade, including essential support for women and small businesses.

UK Mission to the UN Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative Andrew Staines said, “The UK is a strong believer in the power of aid for trade to unlock growth, reduce poverty and create the trading partners of the future."

"The global debate on aid focuses increasingly on inclusive economic growth, job creation and ensuring that no one is left behind. The UK supports the rhetoric and believes that the EIF is uniquely suited to unlock sustainable trading opportunities for LDCs. For this reason, the UK announced more than £16M of funding for the EIF at the WTO Ministerial conference in Buenos Aires last December."

The time is now to act to further integrate LDCs into an inclusive trading world, and the LDC representatives call on the global community to work together with them to support trade for development.

About the Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for LDCs:

The Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), held from 13-14 June 2018 at the WTO, is the first event exclusively dedicated to achieving inclusive trade in the world's poorest nations. Bringing together a diverse range of people from a vice president to a princess to a CEO to a farm manager, the event hosted sessions on three themes: multilateral and regional trade, inclusive trade and economic growth, and global agricultural value chains.

About EIF:

The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is the only multilateral partnership dedicated exclusively to assisting Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in their use of trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. The EIF partnership of 51 countries, 24 donors and 8 partner agencies works closely with governments, development organizations, civil society and academia. Together we leverage our collective know-how, reach and reputation to tackle the world’s most pressing trade-for-development issues.

For more information, visit www.enhancedif.org

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Deanna Ramsay

Communications Officer                                

Enhanced Integrated Framework

P: +41 22 739 5122

E: deannamichelle.ramsay@wto.org