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

UN ECA: Review of Progress of African LDCs

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has released its 2020 Review of progress made on the Programme of Action for the LDCs...

TRIPS transition period for LDCs: update on 20 October 2020

20 October 2020. At the meeting of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on 15-16 October 2020, WTO members discussed,...

Communication from Chad on behalf of the LDC Group on an Extension of the...

1 October 2020. Chad, on behalf of the LDC members of the WTO, has presented a proposal to the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual...

Training for LDCs in Sub-Saharan Africa on Responding to Crisis: Strengthening Finance and Trade...

UNITAR is organizing a course on strengthening finance and trade resilience to global epidemics and health emergencies, targeted at public sector officials from LDCs...

EIF Resource Mobilization Guidebook

The EIF has released an updated version of its Resource Mobilization Guidebook, which contains information on funding for trade development in LDCs.  This year's edition...