The Third Meeting of Trade Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries takes place at a time when the 31 landlocked developing countries that belong to the Group of LLDCs feel the severe impact of the recent financial and economic crisis. Although marginalized in the international economy, LLDCs are not de-linked from global events.
The steep fall in international trade, a rise in protectionism, a substantive decline in remittances, a noticeable contraction in foreign direct investment (FDI), as well as a heightened risk of a reduction in official development assistance (ODA) jeopardize the development gains of the recent past.
In fact, LLDCs have to cope with slower economic growth which may translate into rising poverty levels and an increasing risk of missing critical MDG targets.
It is against this background that the Third Meeting of Trade Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries is convened under the theme "Strengthening Trade Competitiveness in times of global economic crisis - Challenges faced by LLDCs".
Trade ministers and senior government officials from LLDCs will take stock of the achievements reached since the Ministerial Meeting in Ulaanbaatar in 2007 and discuss policies and measures on how to tackle best the challenges facing LLDCs in their efforts to reap more benefits from international trade.
UNCTAD, in cooperation with other international organization such as UNDP and the OHRLLS, provided advisory services to the Group of LLDCs in the preparation for this event.