Ambassador Morten Jespersen: Looking at aid funding, the private sector and country visions – Where are LDCS now?

IF’s Steering Committee Chair talks donor priorities, laying the groundwork for investment in LDCs and more

How can donor countries like Denmark best support least developed countries (LDCs) in these uncertain economic times?

LDCs account for only 1% or less of world exports. Global value chains are being disrupted to some extent, and there is a trend now toward more regional value chains. And there is a tendency toward slowing growth. As donors, we believe we should focus more on sectors in LDCs where there is real potential for export, so I mean be selective in the sectors in which we work.

That is also why we believe the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) diagnostic work in trade is important with regards to that. We believe EIF is unique in the sense that there is no other international actor that has an exclusive focus on LDCs and trade. That is important for us, and on top of that the trade policy integration in government policies, the capacity building, the projects that work with productive sectors.

What are Denmark’s priorities in supporting LDCs?

For us, it’s important that we target the LDCs. It’s important that we support projects and activities where it’s not only about production, it’s also to have the development angle. That is very important to have sustainability. It’s all about creating sustainability and creating growth – and creating decent jobs is an important component.

The way we handle aid for trade in our assistance is as an integral part of private sector development. Some donors have specific aid for trade departments and policies but we have it integrated in our private sector development. Our bilateral programs almost all have value chain components, and some also focus on exports and trade. Others support value chains in countries. But we don’t really distinguish that much between private sector development and aid for trade.


Read the complete article at EIF, Trade for Development News