KATHMANDU: Amrit Bahadur Rai, Minister Counsellor on behalf of the Group of the Least Developed Countries called for robust international support measures to address the complex development challenges of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and to make substantial efforts to mobilize domestic resources withstanding their structural weaknesses.
Speaking at the Fifth High-Level Dialogue on the theme “The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: status of implementation and tasks ahead” on Wednesday, Rai urged for substantive and comprehensive reform in the international financial system and architecture on a priority basis to ensure the voice and participation of the LDCs in the decision-making and norm-setting process of the BWIs.
“The volume of FDI flows to the LDCs remains low and mostly concentrated in extractive sectors,” stated Rai. According to Rai, the development partners should encourage their companies, through incentive schemes, to make their investment diversified in the productive sectors of the LDCs and enhance the development impact of FDI.
Rai reemphasized on the need for full, timely and effective implementation of the IPOA in order to materialize the vision of the Monterrey Consensus that the twenty-first century becomes the century for development for all, including the LDCs.
He also made an appeal to cancel multilateral and bilateral debts owned by all LDCs to creditors, in order to ensure their long-term debt sustainability. “Despite the HIPC Initiative and MDRI, many LDCs are still grappling with a high debt burden. Debt service takes up a large chunk of their scarce resources.”
While saying that the external environment continues to remain unfavorable for the LDCs, Rai said the share of the LDCs’ in global trade has stood at 0.33 per cent (excluding oil) since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus. The proportion of the LDCs’ global exports actually enjoying duty-free and quota-free market access, in some cases, does not exceed 50 per cent.
Rai also divulged that ODA to the LDCs stands at 0.10 per cent ($37 billion) of aggregated GNI of OECD DAC donors, which is still well below the target of 0.15-0.20 per cent by 2015.