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

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 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

Cambodia’s duty-free access to the EU market has been partially withdrawn

12 August 2020.  The EU's decision in February 2020 to partially withdraw the duty-free quota-free access to the EU market under the Everything But Arms...

Prioritising the Poor: LDCs and Trade in Covid-19-Related Medical Supplies (The Commonwealth)

3 August 2020.  New report by the Commonwealth Secretariat - "Prioritising the Poor: LDCs and Trade in COVID-19-Related Medical Supplies", Trade Hot Topics, issue...

WTO/EIF – Trade impacts of LDC graduation: country-specific analyses

24 July 2020. A new report by the WTO and the EIF analyses the impacts of graduation on market access in the 12 LDCs...

WTO/EIF – Trade impacts of LDC graduation

May 2020.  "At the request of the Group of Least-Developed Countries (LDC Group), the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization, with the support of...

EU launches public consultation on new GSP

The EU has launched the public consultation phase in the process of review of is Generalised System of Preferences.  The process is open until...