Multilateralism for trade and development

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decline in global trade of goods and services and gave a rise to new protectionist measures around the globe, aimed at maximizing the supplies of critical goods on domestic markets. Many of these temporary trade measures in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic have been terminated; and the economies entered the recovery phase. However, the fragile rebound of world trade is hampered by the devastating war in Ukraine. In addition to the humanitarian crisis, it might have destructive repercussions for the poorer and most vulnerable countries. In this time of crisis, having an open, non-discriminatory and inclusive world trading system is ever more important to support development towards achieving the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This theme on multilateralism for trade and development of SDG Pulse:

  1. Provides analysis and statistics on international trade in developing economies, including goods and services trade.
  2. Assesses progress and studies new developments in the special and differential treatment for developing countries.
  3. Analyses trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets and links between trade, food security and sustainable agriculture.
  4. Examines the role of Aid for Trade in support of developing countries.
In a free trade, an effectual combination cannot be established but by the unanimous consent of every single trader, and it cannot last longer than every single trader continues of the same mind. The majority of a corporation can enact a bye-law, with proper penalties, which will limit the competition more effectually and more durably than any voluntary combination whatever.Adam Smith, The Wealth Of Nations
Developing countries’ share of global exports of goods and services has increased over the last two decades to 40 per cent in 2021, whilst LDCs’ share has hovered around 1 per cent since 2011.
UNCTAD, ITC & WTO SDG indicator 17.11.1
Import tariffs applied by developed countries to products from LDCs registered a slight decline since 2015 and amounted to about 1.1 per cent in 2020.
UNCTAD, ITC & WTO SDG indicator 17.12.1
In 2019, agricultural export subsidies dropped to a total value of US$58 million, its lowest level ever.
SDG indicator 2.b.1
In 2020, donors increased Aid for Trade disbursements to developing countries by 3.5 per cent, as compared to 2019, supporting an inclusive global recovery, but the gap between commitments and disbursements widened.
SDG indicator 8.a.1

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