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. 
avatar for Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts

Head, Aid for Trade
Michael Roberts is the Head of the Aid for Trade Unit in the Development Division at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Aid for Trade Initiative seeks to assist developing countries connect to the multilateral trading system. Michael recently led preparations for the 5th Global Review of Aid for Trade: "Reducing Trade Costs for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth" held from June 30 - July 2, 2015. Michael joined the WTO in 2001, starting his career in the Agriculture and Commodities Division. Between 2003 and 2009, he established and led the Standards and Trade Development Facility. Prior to joining WTO, he worked in the Russian Federation and the UK on agriculture and trade policy issues. Michael is an agricultural and development economist by training and holds degrees from University of Oxford and the University of Kent at Canterbury in the U.K.