13-14 June 2018
Geneva, World Trade Organization

A diverse range of people – from ministers to business leaders to farm managers – came together at the Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The Forum, which was held from 13 to 14 June 2018 at the World Trade Organization (WTO), fostered practical solutions, offered results-oriented theoretical discussions, presented on-the-ground successes, and supported an innovative call to ramp up actions on inclusive trade for LDCs.

Read the Forum Outcome Statement.

Event highlights:

  • more than 300 participants
  • from more than 50 countries
  • in 11 plenaries and panels
  • with approximately 45% of speakers from LDCs
  • examining 3 action areas and 4 themes
  • and 2 strategic partnership launches
  • alongside 11 partner exhibitions
  • sending over 1,000 Tweets from the Forum and making more than 8.5 million impressions
  • contributing to over 20 articles about the events and its participants on EIF’s Trade for Development News
  • making it into 24 external media stories in outlets such as Devex, reaching over 2.9 million readers
  • enjoying the interactive photo exhibit and more than 35 images on display
  • with partners calling on global leaders to substantially increase their support for trade development in LDCs and the Enhanced Integrated Framework
  • and ONE first-of-its-kind Call to Action for inclusive trade in LDCs.


The EIF Global Forum succeeded in exposing the numerous, often complex constraints and opportunities that affect LDCs' ability to trade at the regional and international levels and to remain competitive on a level playing field, which ultimately benefits all countries and consumers – not only LDCs.

– Forum participant

Purpose of the Forum

The Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) brought together leaders from governments, international organizations, the private sector and academia to foster trade action in LDCs and inspire deeper collaborations and commitments in support of further LDC integration into global and regional trade.


The Forum explored the progress made in trade development in LDCs over the last decade, and determined what more is needed. It mobilized bold new commitments by LDC leaders to use trade to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Key themes and action areas

Inclusive trade and economic growth: Reaching groups such as small businesses, women and youth in priority sectors for LDCs will ensure countries make trade more inclusive, build economic resilience and prepare for graduation.

Multilateral and regional trading systems: Strengthening the participation of LDCs in trading systems at different scales will promote an open and inclusive global economy, helping them integrate and more fully benefit from those trading systems.

Global agricultural value chains: Scaling up inclusive agri-business through market-based approaches and improved linkages in higher value-added segments of global and regional value chains will spur innovation and the development of export-oriented agriculture.

A space for participants to

Inform – identify, exchange and promote on-the-ground solutions that help realize both trade and inclusive and sustainable economic growth goals for LDCs.

Connect – help LDCs foster increased collaboration with partner organizations and with each other to exchange lessons learned, expertise and technologies.

Act – inspire action from LDC leaders and the global community to further invest in trade development for LDCs.

Empower – give a stronger voice to LDCs within the trade and development community, and global and regional trading systems.


World Trade Organization

Rue de Lausanne 154,

CH-1202 Geneva


For further information, please contact: eifglobalforum2018@wto.org

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Host and EIF Partner agency

World Trade Organization

Additional Forum Sponsors

ITFC - International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation
German Cooperation
 Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility