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The oceans economy: opportunities and challenges for Small Island Developing States

This report underlines the importance of sustainable oceanic activities for the development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other coastal states. Both opportunities and challenges for SIDS are identified in existing and emerging trade-related sectors such as sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, renewable marine energy, marine bio-prospecting, maritime transport and marine and coastal tourism. It also points at the need to consider the formation of regional economic groupings that combine their "economic exclusive zones" under a common oceans economic space in order to be able to seize, manage and sustainably use joint resources and build common infrastructures.

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Studies in technology transfer: selected cases from Argentina, China, South Africa and Taiwan Province of China

This paper builds on ongoing efforts by UNCTAD to investigate the role of the transfer of technology in economic development. The paper examines the role of technology transfer in the development of integrated circuits production in Taiwan Province of China, button manufacturing in Qiaotou, China, auto-mobile manufacturing in South Africa and biotechnology development in Argentina. The cases therefore cover high-technology activities (integrated circuits and biotechnology), medium-technology activities (auto-mobiles) and low-technology activities (buttons). It is hoped that this approach illustrates the potential for technology transfer to play a role in activities of widely differing knowledge, technology and skill intensities. These cases represent varying degrees of success in the leveraging of technology transfer and local capability development for industrial development in developing economies.

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Trade policy framework: Jamaica

The ongoing review of Jamaica’s trade policy is motivated by the Government’s assessment that the country’ trade has underperformed over the last 20 years. This underperformance is characterized by limited export growth and increased imports, as well as continued dependence on a few export products that have lost competitiveness in recent times and developed country markets that have been greatly affected by the financial crisis.This Trade Policy Framework was prepared at the request of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica. It provides a review of the country’s overall national development objectives and recent economic trends, an analysis of linkages between existing strategies and plans in different spheres of policymaking and trade policy in both the goods and services sectors, and recommendations for integrated strategic approaches to achieving the country’s key vision and objectives for its trade policy.

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Closing the distance: partnerships for sustainable and resilient transport systems in Small Island Developing States

This report informs about the maritime transport situation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and underscores the strategic importance of this economic sector for SIDS economies and communities. It provides an overview of the maritime transport situation in SIDS and presents data on relevant aspects, including shipping connectivity levels, direct and indirect shipping services, port issues, as well as trade structure and patterns. Relevant cross-cutting concerns such as SIDS high dependency on fossil fuel energy imports, exposure to climate change impacts and natural disasters as well as financial and human capacity constraints are also addressed. The report points to relevant opportunities which could be capitalised upon to support SIDS sustainable development and “blue growth”. Finally, the report concludes with a number of suggestions and recommendations for the way forward.

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Pan-African cotton road map: a continental strategy to strengthen regional cotton value chains for poverty reduction and food security

The objective of this road map is to create synergies between the numerous interventions in favour of African cotton, and between the different categories of stakeholders at national, regional and international level. As such, it aims to become a complement to what already is in place in the regions by providing a common framework at the Pan-African level that addresses the existing strategies and national and regional policies from a Pan-African perspective. The road map is organized as follows: Part I succinctly describes the background to the Road Map, its link to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and the translation of these into actions to be conducted; Part II enunciates the Road Map’s various activities based on the outcome of the Cotonou meeting around the three themes: Productivity, Marketing and Value-addition. This part also introduces other proposals, facilitation of the Road Map, its Action Plan and indicators of progress.

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Science, technology and innovation for sustainable urbanization

This report aims to contribute to the sustainable urbanization discourse by addressing the specific role of science, technology and innovation. It is based on literature review and an analysis of cities in developed and developing countries that provide examples that can be reapplied elsewhere. The report provides a fresh perspective on the discussion on sustainable urbanization, drawing on current research and case studies from around the world. The report identifies key sectoral planning challenges posed by rapid urbanization, particularly in developing countries, and proposes practical guidelines to city planners and other decision makers for addressing these challenges through the use of science, technology and innovation.

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Trade policy framework: Tunisia

This study was undertaken upon the request of the Government of Tunisia to assist the country in evaluating whether it should become a participant in the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) of the World Trade Organization. The study looks at: 1) The revenue effects of eliminating import tariffs on all IT products under the product coverage of the ITA; 2) Whether becoming a participant in the ITA will contribute towards achieving the overall objective of the Government to attract greater FDI into the country, in particular the IT sector, through elimination of import tariffs on all IT products and binding other duties and charges at zero for those products that fall under the product coverage of the ITA; 3) The economy-wide implications of becoming a participant in the ITA, through a linkage analysis to gauge whether establishment of an IT sector in Tunisia might have strong backward and forward linkages with other sectors of the economy and thus boost their growth and expansion as well; 4) Complementary measures and/or policies that should be adopted by the Government to further encourage the growth and expansion of the IT sector through both FDI and domestic direct investment.

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Tracing the value-added in global value chains: product-level case studies in China

Three product-level case studies were conducted to identify where China is placed within the GVCs and to find out what and to what extent value is added in China. The three case studies relate to rubber tyres, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and fasteners. They reveal that the selected industries are based mostly on mid-level technologies, and that China is generally in the midstream of the GVC with its comparative advantage in labour cost vis-à-vis its developed trading partners. The publication concludes with lessons learnt from the case studies and a set of policy recommendations.

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Facilitating the participation of landlocked developing countries in commodity value chains

Landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) face multiple trade and development challenges. In addition to their geographical predicaments and remoteness from international markets, most of these countries are commodity dependent. The present study argues that despite the challenges, the case for diversification and structural economic transformation remains more persuasive for LLDCs today than ever before. Empirical and historical evidence suggests that diversification, value addition and retention are key to attaining overall development objectives. The study also underscores the importance of joining regional and global commodity value chains and the urgency for those countries to take advantage of their natural resources wealth by enacting sound development polices and strategies that put productive capacities and structural economic transformation at the centre.

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Technology in action: good practices in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies for women in South Asia

The publication is focused on policies and initiatives carried out in countries in South Asia that show how Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) can help the condition of women in this region. Focusing the analysis on regional levels allows for the consideration of existing commonalities across countries in different geographical regions in relation to gender equality and the different circumstances across and within countries. This report was elaborated based on a comprehensive analysis of secondary literature on programmes and policies on gender, STI and other sectors conducted in the region by local governments in collaboration with international agencies and other organizations. The experiences presented in this report show that STI policies usually contribute to improving the livelihoods of women and enhancing gender equality through the following mechanisms: introducing and diffusing technological and scientific developments that improve the life of women; creating and strengthening, both directly and indirectly, capacities related to STI; and introducing financial innovations such as microcredit and related skills for entrepreneurs.

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Global value chains and South-South trade

Building on previous UNCTAD research, this study examines trends and patterns of South-South trade over the last decade linked to Global Value Chains (GVCs). Its findings confirm much of the earlier analysis. However, there are some new, or at least more visible, trends that have emerged over the last decade and have impacted international production and South-South trade, including the growing influence of financial markets on the real economy (“financialization”), and the emergence of China as the world`s leading export economy. There has also been strong growth performance across the developing world, which began after the recovery from the dot-com crisis of 2000, and continued after the financial crisis of 2008, albeit at a slower rate than prior to the crisis. The study begins with an analysis of the links between trade, industrialization and the evolving international division of labour. Contrary to much recent analysis it emphasises the long-standing nature of the economic forces behind GVCs and the familiarity of the challenges they pose to policy makers in the South. This is followed by a discussion of some of the main changes in the global trading system over the past three decades, in particular the growing participation of developing countries in world trade, the shift in the composition of their trade from primary products to manufactures, and the rise of South-South trade both as a share of developing country and world trade. These three features are connected, in no small part, through the spread of GVCs. The next three sections examine in turn recent trends in global production sharing, the value added by different countries in GVCs, the contribution of GVCs to rising South-South trade, and the role of FDI in spreading international production and its development impact. A final section summarizes the key findings and draws policy implications.

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Making trade work for Least Developed Countries: a handbook on mainstreaming trade

Least developed countries (LDCs) have very high trade-to-GDP ratios, reflecting the fact that they are heavily dependent on trade. Over the past few decades, they have also embarked upon significant trade reforms. Although LDCs had relatively high economic growth during the past decade, unemployment, poverty, and inequality continue to be major development challenges in these countries. Against this backdrop, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) developed a project to strengthen the capacity of trade and planning ministries of selected LDCs to develop and implement trade strategies conducive to poverty reduction. The project was funded by the UN Development Account for the period 2013–2015 and had six LDCs as beneficiaries: Ethiopia, Lesotho, and Senegal in Africa, and Bhutan, Kiribati, and Lao PDR in Asia and the Pacific. As part of the project, national workshops on the trade policymaking and trade main-streaming experiences of the beneficiary countries were organized by UNCTAD in collaboration with the governments involved and partner organizations. Two regional workshops were also organized: one on Africa and one on Asia and the Pacific. This handbook is the outcome of the workshops and research conducted under the project. It draws lessons from the experiences of the six countries that participated and provides fresh insights on how to design and implement an effective trade strategy in LDCs. It also provides clarity on the concept of main-streaming trade and identifies criteria on how to measure success in this endeavour. The handbook should be useful to policymakers in developing countries, development analysts, academics, and students of development. In this regard, it is meant to be a guide to policy formulation and implementation in LDCs, with the understanding that its application will vary from country to country because of differences in economic structure, history, and social and political realities.

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Trade facilitation in the occupied Palestinian territory: restrictions and limitations

Despite the fact that Israeli procedures and trade impediments hamper efforts to create tangible changes on the ground, the study argues that a number of measures, if implemented, could boost Palestinian trade and revitalize the economy in the short term. Hence, this paper also identifies and critically examines some of these measures. One possibility, among many, is to seek and use donor aid to mitigate the constraints of the occupation. For instance, the improvement of trade conditions at King Hussein Bridge (KHB), including the need to process containerized shipments, would be a key element in facilitating Palestinian trade. In this regard, the introduction of the gantry scanner that was proposed by the Government of Netherlands (GoN) at KHB could boost Palestinian trade. For Palestinian shippers, the gantry scanner is intended to encourage the efficient movement of goods by eliminating the back-to-back process for moving goods (a costly, tedious process of unloading and reloading pallets for manual inspection), reducing damage to goods, allowing for the effective transportation of refrigerated and perishable items, enabling better packing of shipments in terms of the diversity and quantity of goods, and reducing transportation time and other costs.

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Trade policy framework: Angola

The study examines Angola’s participation in international trade and its existing trade policy, and seeks to recommend some areas of policy changes that may help the Government to improve its trade performance and bring about inclusive development. As regards merchandise trade, the study identifies several sectors that could be usefully explored for the country’s export diversification efforts, particularly through accelerated agro-based industries development. These include coffee, tea, fruits, fruit juice, vegetables, maize, cassava, sugar cane, cotton, floriculture, sawdust briquettes, fisheries, palm oil and natural rubber. Other recommendations centre on improving capacities with supportive services infrastructures, and regulatory and institutional framework, improving and strengthening trade related fundamentals. As regards services trade, the study identifies some key services sectors in which reforms and improvement in the supply side would be necessary to boost trade. These include the energy, financial, construction, tourism, telecommunications and transport services. For example, it calls for improved quality of transportation and increased supply of road cargo transportation. For telecommunications services, it calls for raising funds to create a broadband infrastructure in order to connect all urban and rural geographic regions of the country and establish connections with the regional infrastructures supporting the development of telecommunications. For tourism services, it calls for development of the Angolan tourism services through quality products, incorporating the regional, cultural and natural diversity and to stimulate and facilitate the consumption of Angolan tourism products in the national, intraregional and international market.

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Creative economy outlook and country profiles: trends in international trade in creative industries

International trade in creative industries showed sustained growth in the last decade. The global market for traded creative goods and services totalled a record $547billion in 2012, as compared to $302 billion in 2003. Exports from developing countries, led by Asian countries, were growing faster than exports from developed countries. Among developed country regions, Europe is the largest exporter of creative goods. In 2012, the top 5 creative goods exporters included Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium. Exports of creative goods from developed economies grew during the period 2003 to 2012, with export earnings rising from $134 billion to $197 billion. Among developing countries, China is the largest exporter of creative goods. In 2012, the top 5 exporters were China, Hong Kong, China, India, Turkey and South Korea. Exports of creative goods from developing economies grew during the period 2003 to 2012, with export earnings rising from $87 billion to $272 billion. Developing countries are playing an increasingly important role in international trade in creative industries. Creative industries are vibrant sectors of the global economy. Increasing demographics, better access to ICTs and dynamic shifts to new lifestyles associated with creative products and services, makes trade in these sectors a promising avenue for future growth.

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The development dimensions of intellectual property in Nepal

UNCTAD originally developed this Report on the development dimension of intellectual property rights (DDIP) in response to a technical assistance request from Nepal. Part 1 of this Report outlines the major framework for intellectual property (IP) policy in Nepal. IP rights have differential impact on countries based on their respective levels of development, with LDCs being in a less advantageous position due to their limited absorptive capacity and technological base, among other limitations. Considering its level of development, IP policy makers in Nepal needs to consider the importance of and the factors that facilitate indigenous learning activities and the adaptation of technologies, through incremental innovation in vital and promising sectors of the economy. Part 2 of the Report recommends a number of legislative, policy and practical steps to facilitate and enable the technological and innovation functions of IP protection. Part 3 of the Report examines the access to medicine regime of Nepal and recommends for Nepal to implement the transition period for the protection of pharmaceutical product patents and pharmaceutical test data that lasts until 2033. Part 4 of the Report analyses Nepal's access and benefit sharing regime, the interface between IP and biodiversity, and options for defensive and positive protection of genetic resources (GRs) and traditional knowledge (TK). The recommendations of this Report on the framework for IP policy in Nepal and on each specific area examined have legislative and institutional dimensions that require capacity building, and, in some cases, additional studies to develop specific action plans for implementation.

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Trade facilitation and development

Trade facilitation reforms improve a country’s trade competitiveness and the effectiveness of border agencies. In addition, they can directly help advance development goals such as strengthening governance and formalizing the informal sector. The present study identifies policies to help reap the full development-related benefits from trade facilitation reforms. UNCTAD research and experience with technical assistance programmes has shown that such reforms should be comprehensive and ambitious and advance the trade and development objectives of countries. Trade facilitation should be linked to investments in transport infrastructure, information and communications technologies and broader trade-supporting services. Since many trade facilitation challenges and solutions are regional, their implementation should be included in regional integration schemes. Given the linkages between trade facilitation reforms and implementation capacities, development partners need to ensure that their support does not leave out the most vulnerable economies, and should make full use of the promises and possibilities for technical and financial assistance provided for by the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), reached in Bali, Indonesia in 2013.

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Commodities and Development Report 2015: smallholder farmers and sustainable commodity development

The report highlights the range of constraints that smallholder farmers face in developing economies and specifically provides new analyses of the state of their integration into the global economy. It underlines that smallholder farmers are both victims of climate change and key actors in the achievement of a more inclusive and environmentally friendly development path. The report argues for specific measures at the national, regional and global levels, including in international trade and investment agreements, for unleashing the full business potential of smallholders. It showcases good policy practices, including the role of strong political leadership in reversing the policy neglect that small farmers have suffered from. "Business as usual" is not an option if the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to be achieved. In light of this, the report calls for greater resources to be devoted to supporting smallholders. And finally, the report also urges for the establishment of an accountability mechanism for monitoring progress on key commitments related to smallholders on trade, investment, finance and technology.

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Technology and Innovation Report 2015: fostering innovation policies for industrial development

Building productive capacities and promoting sustainable industrialization have an important role to play across the spectrum of the integrated 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda recognizes that the notion of sustainable industrialization is multi-faceted: it is not solely limited to environmental sustainability, but refers to efforts that are technology-led, productivity enhancing and poverty-reducing. It is based on the understanding that no industrial policy is complete without an accompanying innovation policy. Both are essential and complementary to shaping developmental outcomes and creating prosperity for all. This report addresses this urgent policy priority by analysing the crucial role of technological learning and innovation capacity. Promoting industrialization is a challenge throughout the world. This report helps to address some of the questions that policymakers face when seeking to forge new paths to secure a prosperous future for their people.

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Information Economy Report 2015: unlocking the potential of E-commerce for developing countries

This report highlights how some of the greatest dynamism in electronic commerce can be found in developing countries, but that potential is far from fully realized. It examines opportunities and challenges faced by enterprises in developing countries that wish to access and use e-commerce. It also highlights the latest market trends, benchmarks country performances with the UNCTAD E-commerce Index, reviews examples of e-commerce in rural areas and low-income countries, addresses relevant legal issues and provides policy recommendations.

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Review of maritime transport 2016

The present edition of the 'Review of Maritime Transport' takes the view that the long-term growth prospects for seaborne trade and maritime businesses are positive. There are ample opportunities for developing countries to generate income and employment and help promote foreign trade.

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The Least Developed Countries Report 2016

Graduation is the process through which a country ceases to be an LDC, having in principle overcome the structural handicaps that warrant special support from the international community, beyond that generally granted to other developing countries. However, the Report argues that it should be regarded, not as a winning post, but rather as a milestone in a country's long-term economic and social development. Thus, the focus should not be on graduation itself, but rather on "graduation with momentum", which will lay the foundations for long-term development and allow potential pitfalls to be avoided far beyond the country's exit from the LDC category. Structural transformation, the importance of which is explicitly recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, plays a fundamental role in this process. While there are numerous international support measures (ISMs) for LDCs, their contribution towards graduation is undermined to varying degrees by vague formulation, non-enforceability of commitments, insufficient funding, slow operationalization and exogenous developments in international trade and finance. Their effectiveness also depends critically on the institutional capacities of each LDC to leverage them in support of its own development agenda. The Report highlights the need for LDCs to move from graduation strategies focused on qualification for graduation to "graduation-plus" strategies that take a long-term perspective and foster structural transformation. It also shows the need for better and more effective ISMs, as well as a more stable and development-oriented international environment.

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Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2016: structural transformation for inclusive and sustained growth

This report reviews recent trends in the global economy and focuses on the policies needed to foster structural transformation. It identifies some of the critical issues to be addressed in order to set in place structural transformation processes.

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Manufacturing progress? Employment creation in Sri Lanka

This study, written in collaboration with ECDPM, aims to explain the employment progress achieved in Sri Lanka from 1990 to 2010. This period has seen a drastic reduction in unemployment, and improved working conditions, particularly for women, accompanied by structural transformation away from agriculture towards manufacturing and services. The drivers of employment progress in quality, quantity and access are examined in terms of policies affecting demand for and supply of labour. While this employment progress has been achieved under unique and challenging conditions, not least a civil war from 1983 to 2009, the study attempts to draw conclusions for policy-makers in other contexts. In particular it points to the long-term adherence to a hybrid industrial policy agenda comprising outward market orientation and policies to promote investment into export processing zones, attention to education and vocational training, and continuing strong government economic activity in the form of state-owned enterprises and public employment. As for any progress story, employment progress is not necessarily ‘success’ – outward migration and war-related employment have also been key factors. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka is on a trajectory of economic transformation that, with the end of the civil war, offers a strong basis for further employment progress and improved livelihoods.

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Establishing a workable follow-up and review process for the Sustainable Development Goals

The Open Working Group document proposes that governments will set its own national targets. They will be guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. To make the Post-2015 agenda actionable, much more thought needs to be given to the process of target-setting, different actors’ responsibilities, implementation and accountability.

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