Expert Group Meeting on Financing Infrastructure Development for Enhanced Integration of LLDCs into Global Trade
4 October 2017 - 5 October 2017
Conference room 11 / UN Headquarters in New York
Landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) face development challenges owing to their geographical disadvantage of lacking direct territorial access to the sea and their remoteness and isolation from world markets. Critical infrastructure deficiencies, long distances to ports and poor trade facilitation result in high transport and overall trade costs. The LLDCs pay almost double in trade costs when compared to their neighbouring coastal countries. These high costs reduce competitiveness, diminish export profits, inflate the prices of imported inputs for manufacturing, discourage investment and undermine LLDCs’ efforts to fully gain benefits from global flows of knowledge, technology, capital and innovation.
Reducing the high costs and improving the export competitiveness of the LLDCs requires addressing both the hard physical infrastructure, and the soft infrastructure. It requires the LLDCs and transit countries to work together to provide adequate physical infrastructure in the transport, energy and ICT sectors. Development of quality and adequate transport infrastructure such as roads, railroads, seaports, and airports is important for connecting the LLDCs to the markets.
The Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for the LLDCs for the decade 2014 to 2024 underscores the importance of partnerships between LLDCs and transit countries for the development/improvement and regular maintenance of their transport, energy and ICT infrastructure and stresses the importance of promoting enabling legal environments and institutional arrangements.
The main objective is to review how to enhance resource mobilization from the key sources of financing for infrastructure development and maintenance for the LLDCs and provide recommendations that can advance the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by the LLDCs.
In this regard the meeting is expected to:
- Review the key trends of financing transport, energy and ICT infrastructure in regions with the LLDCs – identifying the major challenges and opportunities;
- Share ideas, lessons and best practices on how to improve use of the different sources of financing – including domestic resources, official development assistance, public and private sector partnerships, South-South and Triangular cooperation, dedicated trust funds and special windows in multi-lateral resources, and innovative sources of funding;
- Identify other alternative and innovative sources of finance that can be used for infrastructure development and provide guidance on how the LLDCs can access the resources; and
- Identify recommendations on how to better utilise available resources and how to expand the resource envelope.
The deliberations at the meeting should build on available reports, analysis, think pieces, research papers and statistics.
Concrete recommendations on financing infrastructure development will be suggested that are important for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 development agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs. The meeting will suggest how the LLDCs could optimally combine different financing modalities and instruments to address the infrastructure finance needs.