UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report 2014 released

Igor Bosc, UNDP senior programme adviser, makes a presentation of the launch of the UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report 2014 at Sedona Hotel in Yangon on Monday.— GNLM/Photo Ye Myint
Igor Bosc, UNDP senior programme adviser, makes a presentation of the launch of the UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report 2014 at Sedona Hotel in Yangon on Monday.— GNLM/Photo Ye Myint

Yangon, 2 Dec— United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Myanmar organized a press briefing on the launch of the Least Developed Countries Report 2014 prepared by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Yangon on Monday.
The latest report of the UNCTAD finds 48 counties— nine in Asia, 34 in Africa, one in the Caribbean and four in the Pacific region—as “least developed countries”. According to the report, Myanmar is in the list with Laos and Cambodia, fellow ASEAN countries.
“It is very difficult to say which country—Myanmar or Laos or Cambodia— will be able to exit the LDC list as their economies, population and size of nation are different. It will be important to look at how each economies are able to translate growth and some of the achievements in social sectors into transformation of their economies, thereby producing more jobs and greater labour productivity”, Igor Bosc, UNDP senior programme adviser, told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
The report shows Myanmar’s per capita gross national income is $996. According to the one of three criteria used for identifying countries as LDCs, the per capita GNI of an LDC eligible for graduation must be to a level at least double the graduation threshold of $1190.
Myanmar is still a low income country with a human assets index of 68.8, an economic vulnerability index of 45.0 and a human development index of 150, it says.
Regarding LDC progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the report finds Myanmar is in medium progress to meet under-5 mortality rate, one MDG target while on the track to achieve MDG targets of maternal mortality rate, proportion of population using an improved drinking water source and proportion of population using improved sanitation facilities.
Asian LDCs perform better than African LDCs across selected MDG targets, but Laos is the only one on track on all criteria, the report says.
The list of LDCs is reviewed every three years by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO) based on recommendations of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP).
Forty-eight countries, including Myanmar, are designated by the United Nations as “least developed countries”, entitling them to aid, preferential market access and special technical assistance. — GNLM

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