By Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat at the World Trade Organization
Of the 46 least developed countries (LDCs), 16 are at different stages of graduation. And, though graduation offers many opportunities, it also presents its own unique challenges for countries in this category. As such, various international support measures (ISMs) have been put in place, or extended, to ensure smoother transitions and sustained developmental progress in the post-graduation phase.
Some countries in the South Asia and Pacific region are experiencing a rapid increase in the number of working-age people. This will create some opportunities as it will contribute to reducing the dependency ratio and increasing the possibilities for social cohesion policies. But if these people fail to find decent jobs, then per capita income may slow down. With less income, people face lower living standards and difficulties accumulating capital and assets. For young people, these changes potentially bring significant challenges. Take, for example, youth in Cambodia.