Switzerland has signed a framework agreement with the United Nations to help support the integration of poorer countries into international trade markets.
The accord was signed on the sidelines of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC), which is currently being held in Istanbul, Turkey.
The agreement, which improves trade conditions for Swiss development partner countries, targets export promotion, improved product quality, putting international trade accords into action, and raising awareness of social and environment measures.
Luzius Wasescha, the Swiss representative at the World Trade Organization who signed the deal, said in a statement on Tuesday that the move aimed to help integrate the poorest countries into world markets and that it also strengthened the multilateral trading system as an effective way of fighting poverty.
The UN terms LDCs as the “poorest and weakest segment” of the international community, Of the 48 countries, which are often beset by extreme poverty and structural economic weaknesses, 33 are in Africa, 14 are in Asia and the Pacific, and one is in Latin America.