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

South Centre event, 9 April 2021: Securing extension of the WTO TRIPS transition period...

This webinar will discuss why the request by LDC members is just, legitimate and permissible under WTO rules.  More information and registration here.

EIF Aid for Trade Stocktaking Event 2021: LDC focused sessions

10 March 2021.  Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and partners are holding the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Aid for Trade Stocktaking Event from 23 to 25...

EIF event: Creating space for women in trade during COVID-19

Event on 8 March 2021.  On the occasion of International Women's Day, this event will discuss gender responsive trade ecosystems to help women integrate...

ODA and Aid for Trade in LDCs in the context of COVID-19 – new...

15 February 2021. "There is a growing consensus that Official Development Assistance (ODA) alone won’t be enough to help least developed countries (LDCs) recover...

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...