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The Benefits of Trade Agreements for Developing Nations
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The Benefits of Trade Agreements for Developing Nations

For many years, countries' freedom to trade with one another has contributed to global wealth by allowing each nation to concentrate on exporting its area of expertise and purchasing what it cannot provide. But occasionally, international trade may become incredibly chaotic. Commerce agreements, which structure trade and offer some degree of stability and predictability, are required to govern commercial activity to avoid this. Several countries often ratify these agreements to promote economic expansion.

To eradicate poverty worldwide, trade is essential. Open economies tend to develop more quickly, innovate, increase productivity, and give their citizens more chances and higher incomes. Open trade also benefits those with lower incomes by providing customers with cheaper goods and services. Economic growth and poverty reduction are aided locally and worldwide by integrating with the global economy through trade and global value chains.

The LDCs saw their poorest economic growth since the early 1980s in 2020 amidst the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 epidemic. In 2020, it was projected that LDCs' exports of goods would fall by 6.1% and their exports of services by more than 35%. The terms-of-trade impact had a significant role in the collapse of LDC exports. LDCs saw a 4% volume decline in their exports of goods, compared to a 5.5% global trade decline.

Even though several LDCs have expanded their export base, up to 38 still rely on selling raw materials like oil, cotton and commodities like copper. More than 70% of LDC exports are goods, most of which are commodities.

African exporters that depend on commodities were particularly heavily struck by the pandemic's dramatic decline in commodity prices, including oil and minerals1. In 2020, the value of merchandise exports from Africa fell by 17.5%, more than the reduction in global exports (-7.2 per cent).
Small domestic markets, a lack of diversification, and a high reliance on trade as a source of economic growth make these nations particularly vulnerable to external shocks (see Fostering productive capacities to graduate with momentum). The COVID-19 health crisis has temporarily reduced trade's ability to help the world reach the SDGs of eradicating poverty, ensuring food security, and creating good jobs.

Trade permeability of emerging markets and less developing countries

Trade openness in D.C.s has persistently lagged behind other emerging countries as measured as the total of exports and imports of goods and services to GDP. LDCs, who had already entered the pandemic period as minor actors in global trade, were disproportionately affected by the sharp drop in global commerce. In 2020, the LDCs' trade openness decreased by over 16% compared to the previous year, from 52% to roughly 43%. This is twice as high compared to other emerging countries, excluding LDCs, which had a fall of more than 8% over the same time.

Current commercial tendencies in developing nations

In emerging economies, trade had a strong recovery from the trade slowdown in 2014–2016 between 2017 and 2019. The economic effects of the pandemic in 2020, when commerce in commodities and services fell by 7% and 25%, respectively, more than made up for this. For emerging economies, trade rose considerably in 2021 and hit US$11.2 trillion. Trade in products reached US$9.6 trillion, above its pre-COVID-19 level. Despite an anticipated 16.7% rise in 2021, trade in services still lags behind pre-pandemic levels (based on UNCTADstat, see UNCTAD, 2022a).

Two farmers after harvesting

Advantages of Trade Agreements

Trade agreements are designed to increase trade between two or more countries. Increased international trade has the following six main advantages.
    • Higher Economic Growth
According to the 2003 U.S. International Trade Commission assessment, NAFTA may boost annual U.S. economic growth by 0.1% to 0.5%. 2 The USMCA is a cutting-edge trade pact that acknowledges how technology affects economies. While some of the original NAFTA standards and procedures were amended, others were left unchanged. 
In its first five years, the USMCA is predicted to have a favourable effect on all major industry sectors, increasing GDP by $68.2 billion (0.35%) and employment by 176,000 jobs (0.12%), according to a 2019 analysis.
    • A more vibrant business environment
Without trade agreements, nations frequently defended their firms and sectors. They were frequently rendered non-competitive and stagnated on the worldwide market by this protection. When the protection was taken away, they were inspired to rise to the level of genuine global rivals.
    • Spending less on the government
Numerous governments support regional businesses. These monies can be used more effectively if the trade agreement eliminates subsidies.
    • Industry knowledge
International businesses are more equipped than domestic ones to create local resources, particularly in the industrial, oil drilling, and mining industries. Global businesses have access to these commercial prospects thanks to free trade agreements. When international corporations collaborate with regional businesses to build resources, they educate them on best practices. This makes these innovative techniques available to nearby businesses.
    • Transfer of Technology
Additionally, local businesses have access to cutting-edge technology through their global partners. Employment prospects increase along with the local economy. Multinational corporations give local employees employment training.


Trade and globalization open up new opportunities, but they also come with difficulties. For a variety of reasons, developing nations may need help to compete on a global level.

    • Poor connectivity in telecommunications, financial markets, or information technology.
    • Ineffective or insufficient transportation, logistics, or customs systems.
    • Complex regulatory environments that deter new investment.
    • Anticompetitive behaviour by influential market participants or cartels stifles innovation, productivity, or market expansion.
The world's poor, who frequently are disproportionately cut off from global, regional, or even local markets, are seriously impacted by the growing complexity of commerce. Poorly connected to vibrant economic centres, poverty is frequently concentrated in specific geographic regions.


Trade agreements are designed to reduce tariffs and boost collaboration between trading partners, frequently leading to more commerce, reduced consumer costs, and more chances for producers to export their products.

This article reveals that trade agreements and trade have a beneficial connection. Although there is sometimes a phase-in period where nations adjust to the lower trade barriers and frequently shift to specialize in specific industries, this connection covers trade in agricultural products. For some products, this adjustment results in a reallocation of labour and may result in unemployment, although trade agreements are generally viewed as advantageous. Less able to help persons harmed by international commerce are government budgets in underdeveloped nations. Large-scale trade reforms resulted in significant income losses for several developing nations, partly because border tax collection may be more manageable than other types of taxation. In actuality, various kinds of taxes have only partially helped some developing nations replace lost tariff revenue. Naturally, developing nations with rapid economic growth are better equipped to handle these issues. Given the situation, researchers and decision-makers must work together to develop policies that ensure prosperity and the possibilities it brings—whether brought on by trade or technical advancement—are distributed more widely among the less fortunate society.

At EXIMA, we aim to provide you with all our knowledge on international trade. For more trading information, check out our other articles

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