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Development Account Projects

Strengthening the capacity of the rural communities in LDCs to utilize the market access opportunities provided by Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) and enhancing value- added of their traditional products


The 2005 WTO Hong Kong (China) Ministerial decision launched the idea of providing duty-free and quota-free to goods originating in LDCs. A number of initiatives have been undertaken to comply with this Ministerial decision aiming at providing LDCs a preferential competitive edge to balance their structural economic limitations, thus fostering exports, promoting industrialization and increasing export earnings and rates of economic growth.

This project is linked to sub programme 5 Africa; Least Developed and special programmes, namely expected accomplishment b.2 to assist in better integration of trade policies and priorities in the national development plans. This includes identification of new issues and approaches as well as greater interaction with research centres and development partners. Accra Accord provides that UNCTAD should "Examine ways of improving the utilization of trade preferences and of making preference schemes more predictable, and continue its work on the issue of erosion of preferences; (i) Assist developing countries, in particular LDCs, in integrating trade and development concerns into their national development plans and poverty reduction strategies."

UNCTAD has been evaluating the trade effects of trade arrangements for LDCs and other developing countries on a regular basis for more than three decades. The outcome of monitoring and analyzing these issues for LDCs shows that in many cases a consistent part of LDCs exports does not take advantage of the trade regimes applicable to LDCs because of market access and supply capacity problems.

Experience has shown that market access has to be accompanied, where feasible, by other actions aimed at building supply capacity and quality of the expert products to exploit the newly created trading opportunities. Addressing product specific and rural community specific difficulties in addressing supply capacity and related SPS requirements to enter the preference giving country markets is an additional lesson learned. Coupled with this, geographical indications and designation of origin could effectively improve the branding of niche products fetching premium prices in developed markets.


An increased utilization by selected rural communities and LDCs Governments of the trading opportunities and benefits of the Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) treatment for traditional products by exploiting trade laws like Geographical indications and facilitating compliance with SPS requirements.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Higher utilization measured as increased trade flows of LDCs.
  • A set of recommended laws, best practices on Geographical Indications adapted at national level for the preservation and protection of traditional products.
  • The introduction of trade policies and legislations in trade and development plans of LDCs aimed at preserving and enhancing their traditional products.

Implementation Status:

Carried out missions to establish the necessary operational links with partner agencies namely FAO, IFAD Foundation for biodiversity and slow food. Participated to the Slow Food Terra Madre meeting held in Turin in October 2012 where contacts were established with the rural communities beneficiaries of the project. Carried out advisory mission to assist artisanal fisheries communities in Mozambique to submit the disciplinary for recognition as geographical indications. Drafted in cooperation with rural communities and Government institutions the entire disciplinary for the submission as geographical indications.