The Forum will bring together leaders from governments, donors, international organizations, business and academia to foster trade action in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and inspire deeper collaborations and commitments in support of further LDC integration into global and regional trade.
2018 is a turning point for LDCs and trade, with a growing trade gap between developed nations and the world’s poorest countries and increasing instability in the world economy. The momentum we generate this year must lead to further integration of LDCs into trade at multiple scales into the future.  
At the Forum, leaders and practitioners from around the world will share what they have achieved on trade development in LDCs to date, with Aid for Trade complementing national initiatives, and will commit to doing more to ensure LDCs integrate and benefit from global trade. It will culminate in a call to action to leverage trade to combat poverty and inequality and to create a more inclusive trading system. 
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Wednesday, June 13 • 09:30 - 10:30
Opening Ceremony "Minding the trade gap: What lies ahead for LDCs / Les disparités dans les échanges commerciaux: qu'est ce que l'avenir réserve aux PMA

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In the last two decades, there has been a boom in world trade driven by large reductions in trade barriers and unprecedented interlinkages among countries, and South-South trade has grown. Yet the world's poorest nations, designated Least Developed Countries (LDCs), engage in less than 1% of global trade while home to 13% of the world’s population. It is clear LDCs are facing barriers that hamper their ability to trade – barriers that include entry to international markets, support to the domestic private sector, and how to best seek out new regional and global opportunities.

The opening plenary will bring together world leaders to initiate an urgent call to action to leverage trade to combat poverty and inequality, with speakers pointing to the growing trade gap with LDCs, addressing the key obstacles LDCs are facing in the world today, and paving the way forward.

Au cours des 2 dernières décennies, le commerce mondial a connu un grand essor sous l'effet de réductions importantes des obstacles commerciaux et d'une interdépendance sans précédent entre pays, avec notamment la progression du commerce Sud‑Sud. Pourtant, les pays les plus pauvres du monde, rangés dans la catégorie des pays les moins avancés (PMA), représentent moins de 1% du commerce mondial alors qu'ils abritent 13% de la population mondiale. Il est clair que les PMA sont confrontés à des obstacles qui entravent leur capacité à commercer – difficultés d'accès aux marchés internationaux, soutien au secteur privé national, et recherche de nouvelles opportunités à l'échelle régionale et mondiale.
La séance plénière d'ouverture rassemblera des dirigeants du monde entier qui lanceront un appel urgent à mettre le commerce au service de la lutte contre la pauvreté et les inégalités – avec des interventions sur l'écart commercial qui se creuse avec les PMA, les moyens de faire face aux principaux obstacles rencontrés par les PMA aujourd'hui dans le monde, et la voie à suivre pour préparer l'avenir.

avatar for Sarah Beeching

Sarah Beeching

Executive Director, Oschun Partnership
Sarah is an economist, strategist, and operational policy maker. She is passionate about tackling injustice and poverty through creating and delivering effective campaign and advocacy strategies. Sarah is the founder and Executive Director of Oshun Partnership, and has led many international... Read More →

avatar for Julian Braithwaite

Julian Braithwaite

Ambassador Permanent Representative to the WTO, UK Mission to the WTO
Julian Braithwaite is the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva including the WTO. Mr Braithwaite joined the FCO in 1994. He spent much of his early career dealing with the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, first in the FCO during... Read More →
avatar for Hassan Come

Hassan Come

Minister of Commerce and Industry, Central African Republic
Le Ministre COME est diplômé de I'Université de Bangui avec une Maitrise en droitpublic, option: Administration générale et un Master II en gestion et prévention desconflits. Il a également suivi une formation à l'École nationale d'administration et de lamagistrature (E.N.A.M... Read More →
avatar for Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang

Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang

Vice President, The Gambia
Her Excellency, Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang is the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs of The Gambia and a pro-active national women leader, pioneer and chair of the Coalition 2016 which democratically defeated a 22 year dictator,   pro-democracy and human rights activist... Read More →
avatar for Mukhisa Kituyi

Mukhisa Kituyi

Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Mukhisa Kituyi, of Kenya, who became UNCTAD's seventh Secretary-General on 1 September 2013, has an extensive background as an elected official, an academic, and a holder of high government office. He also has wide-ranging experience in trade negotiations, and in African and broader... Read More →

Video Message
avatar for Roberto Azêvedo

Roberto Azêvedo

Director General, World Trade Organization
Roberto Azevêdo is the sixth Director-General of the WTO. He became  Director-General on 1 September 2013, serving a  four-year term. At a meeting of the General Council in February 2017, WTO  members agreed by consensus to appoint Roberto Azevêdo as Director-General for  a... Read More →

Wednesday June 13, 2018 09:30 - 10:30 CEST
Session room CR