Enhancing productive capacities and the role of the private sector in LDCs

Conveyed at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCIV), the High-Level Interactive Thematic Debate on Enhancing productive capacities and the role of the private sector in LDCs will highlight success stories, obstacles and constraints in developing and enhancing productive capacities as spelled out in the Brussels Programme of Action, with a view to identifying concrete recommendations for the way forward.

Programme and Participants

Participants will announce policy perspectives and commitments in the implementation of the Istanbul Plan of Action. The Thematic Debate is expected to provide tangible messages for the LDCs and the international community for the enhancement of productive capacities in LDCs.


  • Hon. Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Deputy Minister of Development, Finland
  • Hon. Madické Niang, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sénégal

Lead Discussants:

  • Roberto Bissio, Social Watch Network
  • Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO
  • Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary, ESCAP
  • Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD
  • Juan Somavia, Director-General, ILO
  • Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU
  • Alhaji Tukur, Executive President, African Business Roundtable
  • Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General, UNIDO


Despite their efforts, LDC economies continue to suffer from limited productive capacities and structural weaknesses which impede their growth prospects and constrain their ability to produce efficiently and competitively. Productive capacities are developed through investments in physical, human, social and environmental capital, and through technological acquisition and innovation. The process results in the diversification of national economies, structural transformation and a more beneficial integration into the global economy.

While the private sector is the main driver of this process, in LDCs it is largely dominated by small and informal enterprises which are constrained by a lack of resources and capacity. For this reason, they require public support. The provision of public goods and infrastructure and the facilitation of diversification are broad roles governments play in a market-based approach. Moreover, interventions have to be embedded in a broader national development strategy and a supportive macroeconomic framework.

> Read more on the major challenges facing LDCs