South-South Development Roundtable: Building Productive Capacities of Least Developed Countries through South-South, Triangular and Public-Private Partnerships

As part of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation will be hosting a roundtable event to showcase announcements of concrete plans for the successful transfer and scaling-up of initiatives for increasing the productive capacities of LDCs through effective and efficient South-South, triangular and public-private partnerships.

Programme and Participants

The 2-hour event will feature several presentations of successful, transferable Southern initiatives for improving productive capacities in LDCs, including concrete plans and financial commitments for its transfer and scaling-up.

Featured presentations include:

  • The South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange (SS-GATE), in partnership with the China Development Bank and the Redbud Centre, will announce its financing of an initiative to enhance and diversify the agricultural productivity of LDCs through the introduction of new technologies for the planting, harvesting and processing of jute.
  • The Organization of the Islamic Conference will launch a partnership with the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation to increase the productive capacities of LDCs as a follow-up to the LDC IV Conference.
  • The Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and the International Labour Organization will introduce a new joint initiative to enhance the productive capacities of LDCs through social protection. Mr. Juan Felipe Hunt Ortiz (Officer in charge of the ILO Department of Partnerships and Development Cooperation) and Mr. Yping Zhou (Director of the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation) will exchange letters of understanding, for collaboration of both agencies on a project titled “South-South Cooperation for the implementation of gender sensitive social protection floors”. This project follows up the Global South-South Development Expo hosted by the ILO in 2010. The ILO and the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation had previously worked together on a joint publication “Successful Social Protection Floor Experiences” drawing lessons from 15 different countries of the Global South.


The world is beset by a multitude of development challenges, including persistent poverty, food insecurity and climate change, to name but a few. These global challenges affect poor countries more adversely and yet these societies often lack the capacity to respond. Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are particularly vulnerable due to poor agricultural productivity and inadequate earnings from exports of goods and services among other challenges.

There is an urgent need for the development community to strengthen the productive capacities of LDCs through private sector development, the transfer of productive technologies, and the provision of infrastructure. By developing productive capacities, LDCs will be empowered to mobilize domestically the resources needed to finance economic growth, thus lessening dependence on aid and attracting private capital inflows that can support development.

LDCs can significantly advance through the use of South-South, triangular and public-private partnerships, as the South is increasingly home to many successful examples of innovative technologies and other sustainable solutions to development challenges faced by LDCs. It is critical that the development community utilizes South-South, triangular and public-private partnerships to support LDCs’ efforts towards poverty reduction, employment creation, sustainable development and integration into the international economy.

The Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, taking place on 9–13 May 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, will offer a timely and important opportunity to highlight the measures needed to boost the productive capacities of LDCs.