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In Preparation for WTO MC12: Safeguarding Trade Interests of LDCs and Securing Trade Interests of Graduating LDCs

This publication was prepared in order to respond to several of the LDC members of ESCAP and to assist them in preparing to position their trade-related development interests through the upcoming MC12. Considering the state of affairs in the global economy and the weakening confidence in the multilateral solutions, the present publication focuses on four issues. First, it presents some of the key developments that form the global scenario and which have important implications for the LDCs as they prepare their stance for the next Ministerial Conference. Next, it deals with – to use the trade jargon, the “offensive” and “defensive” trade interests of the LDCs. These are carefully considered, one by one, including the new issues arriving from the “joint statements” and proposals for the possible stance of LDCs in view of those issues. Finally, the issues of trade-related concerns and interests of the cohort of graduating LDCs are discussed and some elements of a support package for helping these countries move towards their smooth transition, graduation with momentum, and sustainable and robust LDC graduation are put forward. It is argued that, in the course of the current critically important transition phase from an LDC to a developing country, the graduating LDCs will need targeted support from multilateral and bilateral development partners. While graduating LDCs do their own homework with regard to implementing their own national smooth transition strategy, they will need support from the global community.

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