UNCTAD´s Developing Countries in International Trade 2007 - Trade and Development Index (TDI) is the second in a series. The inaugural publication was in 2005.
The TDI publication is a comprehensive review of global trade and development performance, integrating almost all key factors and indicators affecting trade and development in countries of all levels of development. It was conceived to provide an innovative analytical and benchmarking tool to assess trade policies in interaction with development strategies at the national level, in order to promote balanced economic and social development in developing countries, least developed countries (LDCs) and countries with economies in transition. TDI looks at country-specific realities and points to the structural, institutional and financial bottlenecks, as well as shortcomings in trade policy and socio-economic well-being.
TDI also provides the reader with different perspectives ranging from comparisons between regions and individual countries. A new feature of this year´s edition is a series of country profiles for each of the 123 countries represented in the analysis. These profiles present three sets of information:
- selected indicators
- a comparison between the TDI scores obtained in 2005 and 2006 (based on the refined methodology and data)
- the degree to which an individual country has climbed up the development ladder and a comparison of its performance with other countries
The TDI framework serves three major purposes, it is:
- a measure of the degree of integration between trade and economic and social development
- a diagnostic tool that allows policymakers and practitioners to identify possible constraints to using trade as a vehicle for social and economic development
- a benchmarking tool that allows the monitoring of changes in the factors defining the degree of integration between trade and economic and social development and their source
In other words, the main purpose of TDI is to help Governments - especially those struggling with poverty and sluggish development - to determine what to do to participate more effectively in the global economy and to benefit from world trade to speed up national economic growth, create jobs and improve general well-being.
TDI is a valuable policymaking and policy-advocacy tool as it aims to assist UNCTAD member States to identify existing bottlenecks in their structural, institutional, financial, trade policy and development measures and strategies.
Many LDCs have not achieved significant poverty reduction and some have experienced negative growth despite extensive trade liberalization. This adds urgency to the need to examine trade and development linkages, particularly to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD