A new WTO publication launched on 8 December, 2021 has highlighted the high trade costs faced by landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) due to their isolation from the world’s largest markets.

The report recommends ways to address these trade challenges so that LLDCs can increase their participation in international trade and accelerate their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study finds that landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) trade costs are 1.4 times higher than those of developing countries with a coastline. It also details LLDCs’ vulnerability to climate change but notes the benefits that trade in services and e-commerce can bring to these countries.

Director General of WTO, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “Transit countries need to see trade facilitation as mutually beneficial. LLDCs need an effective connection to global markets and only transit states can facilitate this.”

“In many cases, they can themselves provide important trade and transit related logistics services to surrounding countries, transforming them into land-linking trade nations,” she added.

The WTO boss further stressed the need for establishing “partnerships between LLDCs and transit countries including information sharing of Customs systems, logistics and other transport services.

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