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Six LDCs have acceded to the WTO

As of 26 June 2014, six LDCs have acceded to the WTO.  Eight other LDCs are in the process of negotiating their accession packages. 28 LDCs joined the multilateral trade regime before the establishment of the WTO in 1995. LDCs' accession to the WTO (as of June 2014) Country   Application Accession Accession completed Cambodia October 1994 October 2004 Nepal February 1997 April 2004 Samoa* April 1998 May 2012 Vanuatu July 1995 August 2012 Lao's People's Dem. Rep. July 1997 February 2013 Yemen ...

Yemen becomes 160th member of WTO

On June 26 2014, Yemen joined the WTO, after 13 years of negotiating. The country applied for membership in April 2000. The accession was approved by the trade ministers of the member states during the Bali conference in December. With this decision, 97.1 % of the global economy is covered by the WTO’s rules. Yemen is the sixth LDC to join the multilateral trade organization since the WTO was established in 1995. It was preceded by Cambodia (2004), Nepal (2004), Samoa (2012), Vanuatu (2012) and Lao People's Democratic Republic (2013). To become a member, Yemen had to get its legislation in line with the WTO rules on items such as rules of origin, preshipment inspection,...

Pakistan set to offer SAARC LDCs duty free market access

Pakistan is committed to grant LDCs that are member of the SAARC duty-free market access for almost all products. Pakistan uses a sensitive list to exclude products from reductions in duties for its fellow SAARC members. This list will be reviewed for the LDCs, keeping only a few sensitive products on the list to protect the local industry. Pakistan has already reduced the list for all SAARC countries, removing 233 items. The LDCs (and graduated LDCs) that might benefit from this improved market access are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Afghanistan. Source: Dawn

Bangladesh and Turkey about to start trade negotiations to establish FTA

Later this month, a delegation from Bangladesh will travel to Ankara to initiate trade negotiations with Turkey. The objective of these trade talks is to conclude a Free Trade Agreement, addressing the drop in export of Bangladesh’s apparel to Turkey. Higher import duties, imposed by Turkey in 2012, have led to a significant decrease in export from Bangladesh. The countries already agreed to establish an FTA in the spring of 2012, when the levies were about to be implemented. Before these new levies were put into place, LDCs received a duty free market access for apparel, in line with Turkey’s DFQF scheme. In the fiscal year 2013-2014, Bangladesh exported about 856 million USD worth...

LDCs act upon Bali agreement and submit a request on the services waiver

LDCs have submitted a collective request for preferential market access for their services and service-suppliers. This relates to the 2011 Hong Kong declaration, allowing WTO members to deviate from the Most-Favored Nation principle in order to grant LDCs a more advantageous market access in services. At the Bali conference last December, it was decided to breathe life into this until then unheeded services waiver. The Bali agreement stipulates that once the request for a special and different treatment in services has been made, the Council for Trade in Services has six months to set up a high-level meeting. During that meeting, an answer will be formulated; WTO members will...

WTO and other international organizations promise assistance to LDCs for the implementation of the trade facilitation agreement

The WTO, ITC, OECD, UNCTAD, UNECE, World Bank and WCO have declared that they will give LDCs  Trade facilitation-related technical assistance and capacity building support. The trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, as the WTO initiative is called, will aid in the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that was concluded during the Bali Ministerial Conference in December. The agreement links the implementation of its provisions to the capacity of the signatory parties, and includes a commitment to assist countries that need assistance for the implementation. Once the protocol to insert the TFA into the existing regulatory framework is adopted, the Facility will...

Preferential Market Access - Chile

Since 28 February 2014, LDCs are granted Duty-Free, Quota-Free market access by Chile. The QFDF scheme covers all products except for wheat, wheat flour and sugar. All LDCs designated as such by the UN, can receive this beneficial market access. The list of LDCs will be reviewed every three years, by the Ministry of Finance. Chile has also defined rules of origin. A product is considered to be originated in an LDC when (a) wholly obtained or produced in an LDC, (b) produced entirely in an LDC, using only originating materials or (c) produced in an LDC using non-originating materials that conform to regional value content no less than 50 % or a change in tariff heading. More detailed...

Customs Management System

Project Name: Customs Management System Implementing Institutions: UNCTAD Main Donors: Government of Lesotho Duration: November 2012 - Objectives: Implementation of ASYCUDA in Lesotho Link: http://www.unctad.info/en/TC/?mode=AllProjects

Second Private Sector Competitiveness and Economic Diversification Project

Project Name: Second Private Sector Competitiveness and Economic Diversification Project Implementing Institutions: Ministry of Trade and Industry Main Donors: World Bank Duration: October 2013 – April 2019 Objectives: The development objective of the Second Private Sector Competitiveness and Economic Diversification Project for Lesotho is to contribute to the development of selected non-textile sectors resulting in increased private sector investment, firm growth and job creation. The project will comprise two mutually-reinforcing components. The first component of the project is improving the business environment. The objective of this component is to support...

Smallholder Agriculture Development Project

Project Name: Smallholder Agriculture Development Project Implementing Institutions: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, IFAD Main Donors: World Bank Objectives:  The objective of the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project is to increase marketed output among project beneficiaries in Lesotho's smallholder agriculture sector. There are three components to the project. The first component is increasing agricultural market opportunities. This component support Lesotho's emerging agricultural businesses to contribute to increased commercialization of the agriculture sector. The second component is increasing market oriented smallholder production. This...

Horticulture Productivity and Trade Development

Project Name: Horticulture Productivity and Trade Development Implementing Institutions: International Trade Center, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Main Donors: EIF Trust Fund Partners:    Duration: February 2013 – December 2015 Objectives: The objective of the project is to build capacity of Lesotho cooperatives and their members to deliver the markets high value Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (FFVs), through improved commercial and competitive value/supply chains. Link: http://www.intracen.org/layouts/ProjectDetailsTemplate.aspx?pageid=47244640826&id=72692

INCLUDE – Inclusive Development of the Economy

Project Name: INCLUDE – Inclusive Development of the Economy Implementing Institutions: Ministry of Industry Main Donors: GIZ - German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Duration: 2008 - 2016 Objectives: The project supports the Nepalese Ministry of Industry in promoting inclusive development of the economy in Banke, Dang, Kailali, Pyuthan and Surkhet, five districts in central and far-western Nepal. The project strengthens partner institutions by improving the public–private dialogue. It promotes the economic inclusion of target groups through support for selected value chains such as honey, medicinal aromatic plants and dairy products. ...

Trade Promotion Programme in Nepal

Project Name: Trade Promotion Programme in Nepal Implementing Institutions: Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Main Donors: GIZ Duration: 2013 - 2015 Objectives: In 2010, the Nepalese Ministry of Commerce and Supplies joined with international and bilateral donors to formulate the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS). NTIS, the Nepalese Government's roadmap for export-sector development, sets out short to medium-term priorities for trade-driven inclusive growth. NTIS is the government's key instrument for leveraging trade-related development cooperation – Aid for Trade – with multilateral and bilateral donors and thus for significantly improving the country's...

Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP)

Project Name:  Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) Implementing Institutions: Ministry of Industry, Nepal Main Donors: Australia Aid, UNDP, Central Queensland University, Australia Duration: 1998 - 2018 Objectives: The Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) is creating employment and income opportunities for the rural poor by: Providing skill and business training and other support, mainly for women and poor and disadvantaged people to set up micro-enterprises; Helping establish business support services and representative organisations for micro-entrepreneurs; and Working with the government to improve the policy environment. ...

Project development - Enhancing export capacities of Asian LDCs

Project Name: Project development: Enhancing export capacities of Asian LDCs Implementing Institutions: International Trade Center Main Donors: ITC Trust Fund Window 1 Objectives: To design a project plan for the China-funded project "Enhancing Export Capacity for Asian LDCs" Link: http://www.intracen.org/layouts/ProjectDetailsTemplate.aspx?pageid=47244640826&id=47244642028 http://www.intracen.org/news/China-to-partner-with-ITC-in-boosting-export-capacities-of-Asian-LDCs/

T4SD Small Traders Capacity Building

Project Name: T4SD Small Traders Capacity Building Implementing Institutions: International Trade Center Main Donors: EU Commission (DG Trade) Duration: February 2013 – December 2015 Objectives: Small businesses for the backbone of many economies in lower-income developing countries. Studies also show that small and medium enterprise (SME) development is closely linked with economic growth and job creation. Nevertheless, small and medium firms face higher barriers to finance, and suffer disproportionately from complex administrative procedures, a lack of trade and market access information (tariffs, trade flows, standards etc.), training, and high transaction...

Ginger Competitiveness Project: Enhancing Sanitary and Phytosanitary Capacity of Nepalese Ginger Exports through Public Private Partnerships

Project Name: Ginger Competitiveness Project: Enhancing Sanitary and Phytosanitary Capacity of Nepalese Ginger Exports through Public Private Partnerships Implementing Institutions:   Food and Agriculture Organization Main Donors:  STDF and EIF Trust Fund Duration: 07 June 2012 – 06 June 2015 Objectives: The project envisions ‘increased income level of ginger farmers through improvements in SPS arrangements and value addition for export to India and other countries' as its general objective, and specifically ‘increased market opportunities for Nepalese ginger through a series of SPS related and value-addition interventions' as the project...

LDC imports push Italian rice out of the market

Rice imports from LDCs into the EU are taking over Italy’s share in the market, says the Italy Farmers Union. Rice from countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar have become more competitive than Italian rice through the Everything But Arms regime. While Italian rice is sold at ±646 euros a ton, Cambodia sells its rice for ±438 euros a ton. The EBA regime provides a DFQF market access to all imports from LDCs (except for arms-related goods), including rice since the expiry of the transition period in 2009. The farmers Union has sent a report to the EU addressing this issue, and want the EU to reestablish duties on rice imports from LDCs or adopt a safeguard clause. They claim that the...

Lessons from previously acceded countries in becoming a WTO member

Analysing previous accessions to the WTO, Derk Bienen provides lessons for LDCs when applying for membership to the WTO. First he discusses the duration of the process, concluding that WTO accession does not happen overnight. The process takes, on average, 13.4 years for LDCs and actual negotiating time is 10.0 years. Key negotiation issues, market access and rules and disciplines are also examined. Procedural challenges are listed, together with possible responses to mitigate some of these challenges and existing facilitation measures to support LDCs in overcoming these challenges. In a second part, the terms of accessions are examined; focussing on commitments in trade in goods, trade...

Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP)

Project Name: Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) Implementing Institutions: Ministry of Industry, Nepal Main Donors: Australia Aid, UNDP, Central Queensland University, Australia Duration: 1998 - 2018 Objectives: The Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) is creating employment and income opportunities for the rural poor by: Providing skill and business training and other support, mainly for women and poor and disadvantaged people to set up micro-enterprises; Helping establish business support services and representative organisations for micro-entrepreneurs; and Working with the government to improve the policy environment. ...