Global Slowdown: The LCDs' Sword of Damocles

The warnings of a new UNCTAD report

The world´s 50 poorest nations saw the values of their exports climb by a collective 80% from 2004-2006 and recorded their highest rates of economic growth in 30 years, even surpassing the 7% target set by their governments and their development partners. But their increased dependence on selling a few unsophisticated products – primarily petroleum, low-technology manufactures, minerals, ores, metals, and farm goods – leaves them vulnerable to a reversal, this year’s LDC report of UNCTAD warns. By Carla September

The Least Developed Countries Report 2008 (see reference) cautions that a global economic slowdown, if it continues, may lessen demand for the primary commodities the so-called LDCs have to offer and lead to a repeat of the boom-and-bust cycles that have long tormented LDC economies. These countries have a strong need to diversify what they produce and sell on world markets, the report urges ...

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