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The Least Developed Countries Report 2014

Growth with Structural Transformation - Post-2015 Development Agenda for LDCs

image of The Least Developed Countries Report 2014

As we reach the target date to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the LDC Report analyses the performance of the LDCs in progressing towards these goals and provides a framework for their development policies in the post-2015 period. The Report shows that there is a high degree of differentiation among LDCs’ performance towards the MDGs, but most of these countries will not be able to attain most MDGs. This disappointing outcome is surprising given that LDCs have experienced historically high economic growth rates over the last 20 years, and domestic and international policies for LDCs have set MDGs as top priority. In the coming post-2015 period, the LDCs will face the challenge of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), for which structural transformation will be a precondition.

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Structural transformation and labour productivity in LDCs

Human development is inextricably linked to economic development, as argued in chapter 3 of this Report. Key elements of human development, such as poverty, nutrition, health and education, are thus important indicators of the impact of economic development. As also highlighted in that chapter, structural transformation, labour productivity growth and employment creation are essential to the development process. The present chapter applies these concepts to the least developed countries (LDCs) and analyses the progress made by these countries in these vital areas since the 1990s. The results of this analysis offer insights into the “LDC paradox” of slow progress in human development despite accelerated economic growth since 2000.

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