UNCTAD

A girl works on a laptop while sitting in bed in a bedroom with tin walls

The data-driven digital economy is surging according to UNCTAD’s Digital Economy Report 2021. Yet, large power imbalances remain as major platforms reinforce their positions in the data value chain.

Women sitting at sewing machines

Developing productive capacities in least developed countries (LDCs) is necessary for boosting their response to and recover from crises such as COVID-19, according to a recent UNCTAD report.

woman presenting to audience

Driven by the belief that young people possess the agency and power to shape their future, some Kenyan youth are tapping into the digital economy and taking their place at the negotiation table.

Portrait of a man with dreads

UNCTAD and Barbados call to photographers everywhere to document a strong narrative of trade and development issues and to share images that showcase trade’s positive impact.

Miners pushing a minecart

Commodity prices across the board have increased significantly in recent months in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. A new UNCTAD study reviews the price increases and their potential. The report underlines that structural differences across the region will likely result in heterogenous impacts of commodity price increases on trade and GDP growth. Most importantly, the high level of uncertainty on commodity markets and the high degrees of commodity dependence across the region underscore the need to boost the resilience of LAC economies to future shocks.

A bunch of scooters on a crowded road in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

UNCTAD’s updated SDG Pulse shows how the COVID-19 health crisis exacerbated many imbalances in 2020 and delayed progress towards the SDGs by presenting indicators such as trade and debt.

A female worker dries coffee beans

Developing countries whose economies depend on commodities must enhance their technological capacities to escape the trap that leaves most of their populations poor and vulnerable, says UNCTAD’s Commodities and Development Report 2021. About two thirds of developing countries were commodity dependent in 2019, meaning at least 60% of their merchandise export revenues came from primary goods, such as cacao, coffee, copper, cotton, lithium and oil. The report recommends identifying new sectors and designing targeted policies to promote innovation.

Two women walk along a beach

The crash in international tourism due to the pandemic could cause a loss of more than $4 trillion to the global GDP for the years 2020 and 2021, according to an UNCTAD report. The estimated loss has been caused by the pandemic’s direct impact on tourism and its ripple effect on other closely linked sectors. International tourism and its closely linked sectors suffered an estimated loss of $2.4 trillion in 2020. A similar loss may occur this year, the report warns, noting that the tourism sector’s recovery will largely depend on the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines globally.

Traditional bell and other typical Bhutanese artifacts

A new government platform in Bhutan using UNCTAD's online single window technology powers business registration in record time, supporting livelihoods during the COVID-19 crisis.

solar panel in village

Uneven access can hamper technology’s contribution to the UN’s SDGs and worsen global inequalities. But public-private partnerships can help reverse the trend and ensure new technologies, such as solar-powered electric grids, reach the poorest communities.

A farmer dries coffee beans.

During an UNCTAD and CBD meeting, biodiversity experts expressed trade must be sustainable throughout the value chain to play a leading role in the battle against biodiversity loss.

A big ship loaded with shipping containers passing by a lighthouse.

World trade’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis hit a record high in the first quarter of 2021, increasing by 10% year-over-year and 4% quarter-over-quarter, according to UNCTAD’s Global Trade Update. According to the report, the impressive rebound in Q1 2021 continued to be driven by the strong export performance of East Asian economies, whose early success in pandemic mitigation allowed them to rebound faster and to capitalize on booming global demand for COVID-19 related products.

medical worker holding up vaccine vial

The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development convenes from 17 to 21 May, bringing together UN leaders, led by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, scientists, including a Nobel laureate, and other experts to explore how new technologies can contribute to a sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery for all.

A group poses for a photo holding out orange juice jugs.

A finalist of UNCTAD’s award for women in business gets $10 million from her government to build a fresh juice factory that will promote sustainable agriculture and improve livelihoods in North Uganda. Julian Omalla produces one of Uganda’s most popular fruit drinks, Cheers, boasting a loyal customer base of over 5 million people. Affectionately known by many as “Mama Cheers”, the 56-year-old founder and chief executive is one of the east African nation’s foremost female entrepreneurs.

Workers clean cashews.

The global market for cashews is booming, but the African countries growing more than half the world’s supply aren’t cashing in, an UNCTAD report says, due to their lack of processing industries. Africa must add value to its nuts.