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 Robert Skidmore

Robert Skidmore

Chief of Sector and Enterprise Competitiveness
Rob Skidmore is Chief of Sector and Enterprise Competitiveness Section (SEC) at the International Trade Centre (ITC) where he leads the Value added to Trade Programme. Under VA2T, ITC teams help  SMEs to build value through improving customer relationships, creating supportive eco-systems and building firm capabilities. In agribusiness, VA2T facilitates broad-based public private alliances that co-develop and implement solutions covering the full value chain. ITC’s portfolio covers projects in cocoa, coffee, horticulture, coconuts, cotton and specialty crops and ranges from the Caribbean to East Africa to Pakistan and Nepal.  In 2018, under VA2T, ITC is conducting a dialogue called “No Such Thing as a Commodity” about differentiation and retaining value at origin. In another life, Rob managed private sector development initiatives for US-based consulting firms including PwC, DAI and Abt Associates, and worked as a butcher. He holds an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a BA from the University of Wisconsin.