Least Developed Countries Require Highest Possible Degree of Attention from Int'l Community: Report
The Least Developed Countries (LDC's) - a category of States that are deemed highly disadvantaged in their development process are in need of the highest degree of attention on the part of the international community, a report released here on Tuesday says.
"Tough growth revival in the last decade, major structural challenges remain," the report named Growth, Employment and Decent Work in the LDC's by the International Labour Office (ILO) finds.
"Growth in the last decade was high but volatile because it was based on exports of primary commodities rather than a diversified production structure," according to the report.
Employment in the LDC's has grown at an annual average rate of 2.9 percent, which is slightly above population growth but much weaker than GDP growth. Growth took place in the services sector, with industry accounting for a mere 10 per cent of total employment in 2008 from 8 percent in 2000.
A countries' production matters because it enhances learning capabilities that are the basis of productive transformation and productivity growth, the report finds.
"National priorities in circumstances are critical in shaping policies," Sanjesh Naidu, the Economic Adviser of Pacific Islands Forum, said at a press briefing held here at the UN headquarters in New York.
Implementing labor market and social policies that encourage the transition from the informal to the formal economy protecting the incomes of the most vulnerable groups, as well as setting up a range of labour market institutions to cover areas such as employment protection legislation and minimum wage are recommended, the report notes.
"A proven means to ensure that all workers receive at least a salary allowing a decent life for their families is to impose minimum wage legislation," the report shows, and notes that collective bargaining and freedom of association have important developmental impacts.
Since the Least Developed Country category was initiated, in 1971, only 3 countries have graduated to 'developing country' status: Botswana, Cape Verde, and the Maldives in January 2011. Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, the Executive Director of the Employment Sector of International Labour Organization said this is "disappointing."
"We would all like to see a bigger rate of graduation... In a way it's like being trapped in a vicious circle," Salazar- Xirinachs said.
In the report the relationship between GDP growth, employment and decent work in the LDC's is examined, within a longer term perspective but focusing on the last decade.
The current LDC's consist of 33 African countries, 14 Asian countries and Haiti in the Latin America and Caribbean area.