International Trade and Development

01 Jan 2006

The Third National Human Development Report

This Report examines the relationship between human development and international trade. It aims to widen the intellectual frontiers of human development from both global and local perspectives. The HDRs share the single goal of putting people back at the center of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy and advocacy and help to shape a clearer path towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


The Report shows that under the right conditions, increasing international integration and trade in the Lao PDR could play a vital role in the realization of the MDGs and in the country’s graduation out of Least Developed Country status by 2020.


This report looks at the impacts of international trade on poverty, employment, gender, culture and the environment. It argues that meaningful and sustainable improvements in people’s lives are neither automatic nor guaranteed. Greater openness to trade offers significant opportunities for human development but can also widen the existing inequalities. At the global level, the challenge also remains to build a trading regime that is not just more balanced and equitable but one that also actively combats poverty and promotes human development.


The big challenge is to assure, to the maximum extent possible, that international trade benefits the Lao people and helps to solve real life problems without creating new ones. Lao PDR is currently facing challenges and substantial risks because it relies on natural resource-based revenues.

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    • International Trade and Development English