Landlocked countries can improve their connectivity by strengthening cooperation with their transit neighbors and other global partners, as well as pursuing specific actions to reduce trade and transport costs while expanding broadband coverage.
This was one of the main conclusions of the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), hosted by the government of Austria in Vienna from November 3-5. The UN Conference also adopted a new Program of Action for LLDCs to be implemented over the next decade.
The Program of Action establishes six priorities, including:
- Fundamental transit policy issues
- Infrastructure development and maintenance
- International trade and trade facilitation
- Regional integration and cooperation
- Structural economic transformation; and
- The means of implementation
The World Bank’s delegation was led by Senior Director for Transport and ICT Global Practice, Pierre Guislain, who strongly welcomed and supported the new Program of Action for LLDCs.
“The World Bank will actively support LLDCs and their transit neighbors through programs that work towards the reduction of transport and trade costs along the main trade routes important to LLDCs,” Guislain said in a statement delivered at the plenary of the conference.
Guislain also mentioned the importance of strengthening the transport and logistics sectors by phasing out anti-competitive practices; improving intermodal connections, especially at the interface between ports and rail or roads, as well as in the aviation sector; and expanding broadband coverage.