Participants confirmed "High-level round table 4" Held within the work of the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, on the ambitious goals of the Doha Action Program for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022-2031, in promoting the participation of the least developed countries in international trade and regional integration, by increasing their exports and facilitating their access to global markets by setting Simple and transparent rules of origin.
The participants at the table, which was held at the Qatar National Convention Center under the title “Promoting the participation of the least developed countries in international trade and regional integration”, called for the necessity of reforming and modernizing the international trade system, strengthening the pivotal role of a strong multilateral trading system, moving to a low-carbon economy, and investing in resources. human resources, building skills and infrastructure, and providing the necessary support for that, as well as reducing the cost of trade and customs procedures.
They noted that the Doha Work Program has established a set of ambitious goals and actions related to duty-free market access, preferential rules of origin, technical assistance and capacity building, e-commerce, regional integration and many other areas that will help LDCs to fully benefit from available international support measures. Its to harness the economic gains from export-led growth.
For her part, Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, said that trade is a major driver for the least developed countries, which requires access to global markets, as well as support for the least developed countries, especially in the field of technology transfer and cross-border interdependence, to limit the rise in Cost, increase efficiency, promotion of regional and international trade, improvement of competitiveness, and involvement of the private sector in national development in these countries.
She pointed out that the group of least developed countries submitted a package of proposals that require consideration by the international community, in order to be able to exit from this list and make tangible progress in this context, stressing the importance of coordinating efforts at all national, regional and global levels. She pointed out that this conference will increase the volume of international support for the least developed countries, calling for work to increase productive capacities and achieve the goals of the Doha Work Programme.
In turn, Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization, said:" In Doha, we are witnessing a new historic moment of hope for the least developed countries, a moment that brings hope to more than a billion people who live in these countries", stressing that international trade is one of the basic elements of the Doha Work Program, and that the involvement of these countries is an important step. He added that the World Trade Organization had taken several steps to respond to the priorities of the least developed countries by providing duty-free market access, as well as establishing simple rules of origin so that they could adhere to them, improving trade and services, and providing the necessary support and time for adopting WTO rules, supporting agricultural exports and reducing the cost of Trade and customs procedures. He pointed out that the least developed countries receive the second largest support in trade, and their interests represent a spearhead in the World Trade Organization and occupy the main center in its activities, stressing the importance of paying attention to food security and electronic connectivity.
He noted that the share of the least developed countries in international trade constitutes less than 1 percent, as they export a group of exports to some markets, and so far their service exports have not fully recovered from the repercussions of the Corona (Covid-19) pandemic, calling for the importance of enhancing trade integration with them and not Isolate them, and increase the digital transformation of their economies.
He stressed that the World Trade Organization provides equal opportunities for all countries, and that the least developed countries can contribute to shaping the parameters of international trade, play their role, enhance their trade capabilities, hold more dialogues with the private sector, and define their defense and offensive priorities, which helps them to be more active during the next decade. In the same context, Pedro Manuel Moreno, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), stressed that the least developed countries’ exports are concentrated on specific commodities that do not add much value, stressing the importance of building better capacities.
He added: We live in a storm and crises due to climate change, the Corona (Covid-19) pandemic, high debts and conflicts, noting that the least developed countries are the most vulnerable to these crises. He stressed the importance of working so that the next decade would be essential for it in terms of growth and development.
He called for decisive measures and courageous policies in this context through a package of measures, most notably the need to strengthen and improve international support, which is an essential step for the international community to address the main weaknesses and development challenges in the 21st century, pointing out that the least developed countries need a trading system. Strong multilateral organization with strong international trade. He also stressed the need to reform policies related to the environment, move to a low-carbon economy, invest in infrastructure and human resources, raise capabilities and skills, provide the necessary support, and adopt flexible measures to promote its exports.
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