Catching Up

What LDCs can do, and how others can help

image of Catching Up
Despite solid gains made during the last decade, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are not keeping pace with other countries and the gap between them and the rest of the developing world has in fact widened. This means that LDCs will have to progress even faster to avoid being left further behind.

In this publication, economist and award-winning author of The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier, suggests a menu of strategic policies around which governments might rally that could help LDCs to reduce this differentiation. He argues that the only actors who can lead this process are the governments of LDCs themselves working together towards clear and well-founded goals.

He emphasises the need for effective change and highlights potential future problems associated with the management of natural resources and the threat of climate change. Implementing the right policies, he argues, is essential if LDCs are to catch up and not become detached from the rest of mankind.




The post-boomglobal economy looks to have some important differences with the half-century since LDC independence. As other developing countries rapidly converge on a crisisridden OECD, LDCs are becoming increasingly distinctive. TheOECD economies are in crisis and so aid is set to decline relative to the GDP of LDCs: new types of international finance for LDCs will need to be developed. Because other developing countries are growing rapidly, commodity prices are likely to remain high, making the management of natural resources critical, and LDCs will have a chance of being competitive in labour-intensive manufacturing, making pumppriming industrial policies valuable.


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