The Director-General said:

“LLDCs face very high trade costs due to their geographical characteristics. This can hit their ability to use trade as a tool for growth. International cooperation and dialogue will be key in addressing these issues, and the WTO can keep contributing to these efforts in a number of ways.

“Capacity-building work through the WTO Aid for Trade initiative is important, and the LLDCs are major beneficiaries of this work. Implementing the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement will also be crucial. LLDCs had a prominent voice in the negotiations which led to this Agreement, ensuring that it tackles delays in transit which can have a significant effect on these economies. We expect that, when fully implemented, the Agreement could reduce trade costs in LLDCs by over 15 per cent on average.

“The WTO and UN-OHRLLS are committed to working to ensure that LLDCs can leverage trade to help deliver on their development goals, and I am glad to strengthen that partnership today.”

Under-Secretary-General Acharya said:

“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda acknowledge that international trade contributes to the promotion of sustainable development and is vital for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.

“It is critical that landlocked developing countries harness these commitments to strengthen productive capacity, build trade-related infrastructure and ensure unhindered and efficient transit facilities for their products in global markets.”

The Director-General's remarks are available here.


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