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Acting on inclusive trade for LDCs


More than 300 participants from over 50 countries – from ministers to business leaders to farm managers – came together at the Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). It took place at the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 13 to 14 June 2018. Across the two-day programme the forum fostered practical solutions, offered theoretical discussions, presented on-the-ground successes, and supported an innovative call to action on inclusive trade for LDCs.

The Forum was entirely dedicated to achieving inclusive trade in the world’s poorest nations. Participants agreed that investments in LDCs are on the decline, and global uncertainties, including trade, politics and climate change, impact LDCs more than the rest of the global community. This fosters the need for innovative, alternate and diverse solutions.

About LDCs

LDC status is determined by a combination of three factors: per capita income, human assets (e.g. education and nutrition), and economic vulnerability. Despite strong efforts to incorporate LDCs into the global trading system, there is a widening trade gap, which indicates the need for further efforts.

‘Inclusivity’ was the major theme of the two-day forum, and targeted panels took this concept to the next level. The Forum provided dynamic, diverse, all-in space along four themes: informing, connecting, acting, and empowering. The discussions were led by the representatives of the LDCs, who emphasised the challenges to meet demands to be able to perform or improve trade, as well as strategies for women-led businesses amidst informal economies.

LDC Call to Action

The Forum featured an LDC Call to Action on the need to better support trade for development in LDCs. This collective statement affirms the role of trade as an engine for sustainable growth and commits to inclusive trade policies that support women, small businesses and youth. The call asserts that now is the time to further integrate LDCs into an inclusive trading world, and the global community is invited to work with the LDCs to support trade for development. The document voices the commitment of LDCs to continue leading and driving their trade agendas and to work with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), referencing EIF’s unique role in coordination and mobilizing efforts for inclusive trade.

About EIF

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 eight partner agencies works closely with governments, development organizations, civil society and academia. EIF is also a member of the Global Donor Platform since 2014.

The summary of the forum’s outcomes and the full text of the LDC Call to Action can be found in the Downloads section below. For further information about the Forum, please consult the Links section.



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