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Full Report ( 121 Pages, 968.0 KB )


The contribution of trade to development depends critically on the context in which trade works and the objectives it serves. No country has grown without trade. And with all economies becoming increasingly open against the backdrop of globalization, the role of trade in development is much more prominent.

The Heads of State and Government at the 2005 World Summit reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that trade plays its full part in promoting economic growth, employment and development for all. How can implementation of this commitment be monitored?

The Trade and Development Index (TDI) responds to this question with an innovative conceptual and quantitative framework looking systematically at the interactions among different factors that determine trade and human development outcomes.

The usefulness of the TDI lies in its integration of three key functions: monitoring the trade and development performance of countries; diagnosing and identifying factors affecting their performance; and providing a policy tool for national and international action to keep trade focused on development and poverty reduction.

"The trade and development index is an attempt by the UNCTAD secretariat to capture the complex interaction between trade and development and, in the process, to monitor the trade and development performance of countries… The TDI is designed as a mechanism for monitoring the trade and development performance of countries, a diagnostic device to identify factors affecting such performance, and a policy tool to help stimulate and promote national and international policies and actions."

Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD

"I fully support this step forward by the UNCTAD secretariat and congratulate them for undertaking the formidable task of analysing the complex array of trading activities among, effectively, all the nations of the world…. This promises to add immensely to our understanding of…world economic performance in terms of structural and institutional factors, trade policies and processes, and level of development…(and) of what is taking place in the intricate pattern of trading relationships, and thus provide guidance for international economic policy."

Professor Lawrence R. Klein, Nobel Laureate in Economic Science


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