Ahead of his departure from Geneva, Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the WTO and EIF Steering Committee Chair Daniel Blockert speaks of key sectors for impact in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the importance of sustainable solutions.
How do you see the current trade situation for LDCs?
If you look at the economic performance of LDCs in general at the moment it looks fairly good for many of them, several are even in the process of graduating, but at the same time we see that their share of global trade is decreasing. If you're going to build development in the longer term we know that trade can be a very powerful tool. So you have to ask: What can we do in order to actually integrate the LDCs in the global trading system better than we've done before? And we know there are plenty of things that we can do, like trade agreements, WTO deals, regulatory cooperation and so on.
But I think there is a strong case for the assistance part of it as well, meaning helping LDCs to identify where they have advantages and where they have the potential to increase trade. And that's where I see the EIF has a very strong role – first you have the diagnostic tools that help with mapping and identifying priorities, then as the next step the EIF works together with the LDCs to implement and build a platform that the LDCs can then continue to work on themselves or together with other donors.
When it comes to economic development in general what trade does is build resilience. If you're part of global value chains, if you have a trade sector that is sufficient and growing, then you become so much more resilient to whatever external or internal issues you could have.