unctad.org | Fostering Productive Capacities, Export Diversification and Structural Transformation in Euro-Asian LLDCs
Fostering Productive Capacities, Export Diversification and Structural Transformation in Euro-Asian LLDCs
12 February 2019
Meeting Room A, Level 1, United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok
Bangkok, Thailand

Key Issues


The weak economic growth of landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) over the last five years highlights their continuing vulnerability to external economic shocks. This is due to their geographical disadvantages, high trade and transport costs, weak export competitiveness and overall structural economic problems. Consequently, half-way into the implementation period of the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA), the progress made by LLDCs towards the goals and targets agreed therein is not encouraging. If current trends continue, several of the goals and targets of the VPoA may be missed and these countries may not be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In UNCTAD’s view, a key reason for the weak economic performance of LLDCs is their inability to foster productive capacities, export diversification and structural economic transformation. This is evidenced from their continuing dependence on the export of primary commodities. 26 of the 32 LLDC are dependent on commodities for more than 60% of their exports. Similarly, the average share of manufacturing value-added in total GDP of the LLDCs has remained broadly constant. Their heavy dependence on the export of primary commodities further exacerbates their weak export competitiveness, as low-value, high-volume exports are also responsible for the high trade and transport costs that LLDCs incur compared to other developing countries. 

In this context, it is important that the Mid-term Review of the VPoA accords serious consideration to the vital importance of building productive capacities and ensuring structural economic transformation in LLDCs.


This side event is intended to highlight the challenges facing Euro-Asian LLDCs, their opportunities for export diversification, and the policies and strategies needed to address these challenges by tapping into the potential that these countries hold for sustainable growth and development.

The objectives of the side-event are:

  • To assess the challenges faced and progress achieved by Euro-Asian LLDCs in building productive capacities, diversifying their exports and transforming the structure of their economies;
  • To identify policies and strategies that help LLDCs to foster productive capacities, export diversification and structural transformation;
  • To inform member States about the outcomes of UNCTAD’s work on the productive capacities index and export diversification in Asian LLDCs; and
  • To identify key issues and concerns for further action by LLDCs and their development partners, in the context of the Mid-term Review of the VPoA and beyond.
Co-organized with:Common Fund for Commodities (CFC)
Mr. Mussie Delelegn
Related Sites:


Comommon Fund for Commodities


For more information on UNCTAD's work in support of the landlocked developing countries, please see: https://unctad.org/ALDC.


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