Según el DGA Zhang, la OMC puede contribuir a analizar el modo de aportar mayores beneficios económicos a los PMA

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“A lo largo del último decenio, las preferencias comerciales para los países menos adelantados (PMA) contribuyeron notablemente a impulsar las exportaciones de esos países. Ahora debemos seguir estudiando qué puede aportar mayores beneficios a los PMA”, dijo el Director General Adjunto Xiangchen Zhang el 8 de marzo en la Quinta Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Países Menos Adelantados (PMA5). El DGA Zhang hizo uso de la palabra en una sesión sobre las proridades comerciales de los PMA en el próximo decenio, organizada conjuntamente por la OMC y otras organizaciones internacionales.

The co-organizers were the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).

Presenting the main takeaways from the two LDC5 regional consultations held in Ethiopia and Cambodia in January 2023, DDG Zhang said priorities include ensuring the full implementation of LDC-specific decisions, exploring digital trade opportunities and deepening regional integration. He also highlighted the need to strengthen LDCs’ trade capacities and to support their graduation from LDC status.

«LDCs have been playing defence or sitting on the bench of the multilateral discussions for many decades,» said Professor Marcelo Olarreaga from the University of Geneva. «What is needed is a new offensive strategy that embraces the rapid changes we are living through.»

Referring to a note entitled «Rethinking LDC trade priorities», Professor Olarreaga encouraged LDCs to look beyond traditional market access and explore other areas of engagement, including digital trade and  trade and environment. «Greater engagement of LDCs in those areas can help achieve outcomes which reflects LDCs’ interests,» he said.

Pedro Manuel Moreno, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, said: “Trade opportunities and patterns are changing with the climate crisis. Partnerships and coalitions are needed to support LDCs in their transition from high- to low-carbon economies.”

Speakers also recognized the importance of LDCs investing in productive sectors. “The international community needs to work closely with LDCs in their trade integration efforts, and strengthening productive capacity remains central for achieving structural transformation,” said Ambassador Agnes Chimbiri-Molande of Malawi and LDC Coordinator at the United Nations.

More information about the session can be found here.

The Conference ended on 9 March with the adoption of a political declaration calling on the international community to implement the Doha Programme of Action, including its trade pillar.