Trade and the sustainable development goals

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda lays out the commitments and action items that would help to ensure that inclusive trade growth is an economic foundation for sustainable development.

The Addis Agenda specifically:

  • Endeavours to increase world trade in a manner consistent with the SDGs, including exports from developing countries, in particular LDCs, with a view towards doubling their share of global exports by 2020
  • Commits to integrate sustainable development into trade policy at all levels
  • Commits to support integration of small, vulnerable economies in regional and world markets
  • Recognizes the need for value addition by developing countries and for further integration of MSMEs into value chains 


Latest developments

The share of LDC exports in global merchandise trade remained marginal, at just above 1 per cent in 2018. As regards services trade, LDCs recorded significant year-on-year growth, reaching a global share of 0.8 per cent at the end of December 2018.

Share of LDCs and developing countries in World Trade, 2018


Trade and the sustainable development goals


Yet, the speed of growth falls short of achieving SDG target 17.11—that is, doubling the share of LDCs in global exports by 2020. Using the year 2011 as the baseline, the LDC share in world exports in 2019 should be about 2 per cent. There is an urgent need to redress ongoing trade challenges facing LDCs.

Read more on LDCs in international trade here.