Multilateralism for trade and development

We live in an inter-connected world where goods and services are produced and traded globally. This has brought an unprecedented level of prosperity and has contributed to lifting millions out of poverty. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how this interconnectedness also spreads the economic and social impacts of crises across countries. At the same time, barriers of trade remain and new threats to the multilateral trading system are constantly emerging. It is essential to address these threats and impediments, and promote a broader participation that could continue to benefit all countries and the global economy. International trade is an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction, and an important means to achieving 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 merchandise and services trade, such as tourism.
  2. Assesses progress in the special and differential treatment for developing countries and studies new developments in New protectionism versus inclusive trade.
  3. Analyses trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets and presents statistics on the links between Trade, agriculture, food security and biodiversity.
  4. Examines the role of Policies to promote trade, including Aid for Trade, in support of developing countries, particularly LDCs.
Through trade, people’s satisfaction, merchants’ profits and countries’ wealth are all increased.Ibn Khaldun
LDCs share in global trade increased from 0.68 per cent to 0.91 from 2005 to 2019, but still have a long way to go before doubling their share.
UNCTAD, ITC & WTO SDG indicator 17.11.1
Import tariffs applied by developed countries to products from LDCs registered almost no decline since 2005 and amounted to about four per cent in 2018.
UNCTAD, ITC & WTO SDG indicator 17.12.1
Share of zero tariffs applied to LDCs’ exports up from 54% in 2010 to 67% in 2018.
UNCTAD, ITC & WTO SDG indicator 10.a.1
Great progress in abolishing trade-distorting subsidies, with only three economies notifying WTO about agricultural export subsidies in 2018.
SDG indicator 2.b.1
Aid for Trade commitments and disbursements have increased by 50 and 81 per cent, respectively, during the last ten years.
UNCTAD SDG indicator 8.a.1
Unprecedented 73% decline in commercial flights from January to April 2020 due to COVID-19.

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