Publications and Resources

8 November 2017

What Could WTO Talks on Agricultural Domestic Support Mean for Least Developed Countries? – ICTSD – October 2017

This paper examines the implications of various negotiating options at the World Trade Organization  for the group of least developed countries (LDCs). It looks at historical and projected trends in LDC production, consumption, and trade to highlight products that are important to the group; reviews key elements emerging from negotiating submissions; and assesses how these proposals could affect products of specific interest to the LDCs.

The Role of Aid for Trade in Building the Capacity of Developing Country Firms to Meet Sustainability Standards – ICTSD – October 2017

One of the major contemporary challenges facing developing country firms, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is the ever increasing number of regulations and sustainability standards required of them if they are to integrate into global value chains. This paper focuses on the potential role that aid for trade can play in assisting those developing country SMEs and small producers who are struggling to comply with the sustainability standards required by value chains.

Information Economy Report 2017: Digitalization, Trade and Development – UNCTAD – October 2017

The digital economy has already had, and will continue to have, globally transformative impacts on the way we live. The scope and uncertainty associated with the next digital shift call for more facts, dialogue and action by all stakeholders. The analysis contained in this report contributes to this process and proposes ways in which the international community can reduce inequality, enable the benefits of digitalization to reach all people and ensure that no one is left behind by the evolving digital economy.

Looking for a Permanent Solution on Public Stockholding Programmes at the WTO: Getting the Right Metrics on the Support Provided – E15 Initiative (ICTSD and WEF) – October 2017

The WTO rules on public stockholding programmes have been under discussion among member countries for quite some time and are likely to be at the heart of the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference. This article proposes a new approach to advance toward a permanent solution on this issue. The author provides a systematic analysis of the biases in current WTO rules for estimating the support provided to farmers through such programmes and puts forward a proposal to correct them.

Reforming Logistics Services for Effective Trade Facilitation – ITC – October 2017

Difficult customs procedures, barriers to investment, and labour regulations limiting movement and hiring of personnel are the most stringent obstacles for logistics services providers in developing countries. The report offers practical guidance for policymakers and logistics services providers to drive regulatory reforms in the sector – including through coordination and dialogue between key stakeholders –, a stepping-stone towards connecting small businesses to international markets.

Towards an Indicative List of FDI Sustainability Characteristics – E15 Initiative (ICTSD and WEF) – October 2017

At a time when the Sustainable Development Goals have become the lodestar for policymaking, it is important for national and international efforts in the investment area to contribute fully to the achievement of these goals as well. This paper presents an indicative list of sustainability characteristics of foreign direct investment that are SDG-supportive and provides guidance to such efforts, helping to ensure that investment law and policy play an important role in this regard. 

Small-scale Fisheries and Subsidies Disciplines: Definitions, Catches, Revenues, and Subsidies – ICTSD – September 2017

This information note summarises how small-scale fisheries are identified in international instruments and academic literature and provides estimates of the proportions of total catch, landed value and subsidies that are generated and received by this sector. It provides specific suggestions, based on the findings reported in the paper, of how this socio-economically important sector could be distinguished in the context of subsidy rules in the World Trade Organization.

Leveraging the Services Sector for Inclusive Value Chains in Developing Countries – ICTSD – September 2017

This paper analyses how increased competitiveness in services can drive sustainable development opportunities in value chains in developing countries. By arranging the services components of value chains in the most socially and economically optimal manner, new opportunities for the private sector can emerge, domestic supply-side capacity can be enhanced, and steps towards the achievement of sustainable development objectives can be made.

New Pathways to E-commerce: A Global MSME Competitiveness Survey – ITC – September 2017

This first ITC e-commerce survey provides valuable insights that will allow countries to shape policies and practices that address the real business needs on the ground. It surveys 2,200 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in 111 countries, and identifies key factors for MSMEs to be able to benefit from e-commerce – including better access to e-platforms, payment and delivery services; streamlined customs procedures; and targeted skill building.

Economic Development in Africa Report 2017: Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth – UNCTAD – September 2017

Tourism is an important sector in many African economies, and its growth is increasingly driven by tourists originating from the continent itself. However, most African countries still face significant challenges and constraints in exploiting its potential. This report identifies the main barriers to unlocking the potential of tourism in Africa to help structurally transform the continent’s economy and provides policy recommendations on how to overcome them.

Fuelling Digital Trade: The Global Landscape and Implications For Africa – ICTSD – July 2017

The purpose of this paper is to propose specific ways in which developing countries can best fuel trade in the digital era. It pays special attention to eastern and southern Africa, regions where e-commerce is still quite nascent and can play a transformative role. The paper argues that gains from digitisation to trade and growth are not automatic in developing economies. Rather, these gains depend on an adequate infrastructure and on supportive policies.

This article is published under
13 October 2017
In today’s global production and trade landscape, developing the ability to comply with a growing number of sustainability standards has become a necessary step for many producers to access markets,...
8 November 2017
Since its inception, the WTO has always been marked by tensions over the scope of the issues it should cover. This article aims to shed light on a debate which, in all likelihood, will only intensify...