Trade is a critical component of the development strategies of LDCs. However, in 2017 LDCs’ share in world merchandise exports remained under 1 per cent and their share of global exports of commercial services in 2017 was 0.6 per cent (WTO Trade Statistical Review, 2018).

The international community has committed to supporting the integration of LDCs into the multilateral trading system and increasing their participation in world markets. Trade-related international support measures include preferential market access for goods, preferential market access for services and service suppliers, special treatment regarding obligations under WTO rules and certain regional agreements, and technical assistance and capacity-building.

Trade-related international support measures for LDCs

Preferential market access for goods

Merchandise exports from LDCs benefit from duty free, quota free market access and from more favourable rules of origin (see also "Basis for preferential treatment...

Preferential market access for services and service suppliers – Services waiver

The main LDC-specific market access preferences in services are those granted under the decision adopted by WTO Members in 2011 known as the “services...

Special treatment and flexibilities under WTO rules

LDCs that are members of the WTO benefit from special considerations in their implementation of WTO agreements. Special and differential treatment (S&D) provisions for...

Special treatment under regional agreements

Certain regional trade agreements contain special provisions for LDCs, including longer or delayed implementation periods, more favourable rules of origin, and others (click on...

Trade-related technical assistance and capacity-building

A number of mechanisms are in place to support LDCs through technical assistance and capacity-building related to trade. Please click on the links below...

LDC Trade - News and analysis

General Assembly resolution on the graduation of Vanuatu from the LDC category

21 December 2020. The United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution on the Graduation of Vanuatu from the LDC category (A/RES/75/128). It commends...

LDCs at the WTO: Proposals for extension of LDC support measures for a period...

11 December 2020. Two proposals were submitted recently by the LDC group at the WTO seek the extension of LDC support measures under the...

WTO webinar and documents on COVID-19 and LDC graduation

8 December 2020. The WTO LDC Group held a webinar on 8 December 2020 to discuss the trade and health impacts of COVID-19 on...

News from the WTO: China renews its contribution to the LDC and Accessions Programme

1 December 2020.  The government of China has pledged to renew its contribution of USD 500,000 (CHF 451,500) to the WTO’s Least Developed Countries...

New series on trade funding by the EIF: first issue on impact investment

27 November 2020.  Responding to a need for information on financing for trade in LDCs, the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) has launched a new series...