The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the least developed countries (LDCs) so hard that they will this year register their worst economic performance in 30 years.
Up to 32 million people in these countries could be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 due to falling income levels, widespread employment losses and widening fiscal deficits.
In a new report, UNCTAD provides a comprehensive assessment of the economic impact of the sanitary crisis, projecting that the global economy will contract by 4.3% in 2020.
Inequalities and vulnerabilities will worsen as the effects of the pandemic undermine progress on poverty and other important sustainable development goals.
UNCTAD charts a roadmap for more inclusive trade and economic development, emphasizing the need to reshape global production networks.
This new UNCTAD report stresses the urgent need to end the closure of Gaza so that its people can freely trade with the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory and the world. It emphasizes the urgency of restoring Palestinians’ right to free movement for business, medical care, education, recreation and family ties.
Since June 2007, 2 million Palestinians have been under a prolonged closure inside the Gaza strip. Moreover, the Strip has endured three military hostilities since 2008.
Global maritime trade will plunge in 2020 due to the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19, UNCTAD says in its Review of Maritime Transport 2020, to be released on 12 November.
The report warns that new waves of the pandemic that further disrupt supply chains and economies might cause a steeper decline and the short-term outlook for maritime trade is grim.
- FDI down 49% in first half of 2020
- Biggest declines in Europe and the United States
- Outlook negative as new project announcements drop 37%
Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the first half of 2020 were down 49% compared to 2019 as lockdowns around the world slowed existing investment projects and the prospects of a deep recession led multinational enterprises (MNEs) to re-assess new projects (figure 1).
The African Union (AU), UNCTAD and other partners are on a mission to ease trade on the continent and make the African Continental Free Trade Area a viable reality for economic development.
One way to do so is to eliminate a brutally costly and complex suite of irritants to freer trade: non-tariff barriers (NTBs).