Investment in poor countries should create jobs

Foreign investment in the world's 48 poorest countries should focus on creating jobs and enabling those countries to produce wider varieties of goods.

The call comes in a new report on the status of foreign direct investment in least developed countries (LDCs) published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Charles Appel reports.

The UNCTAD report says that foreign direct investment in the least developed countries grew rapidly over the last decade to $24 billion.

But this was mostly in extracting natural resources, and the report says such investment has tended to create relatively few jobs.

It has also not led to greater links between foreign businesses and local firms. These links can spread know-how and awareness of technology and facilitate broad-based longer term economic growth.

The report recommends the establishment of a fund to upgrade the infrastructure of the least developed countries, such as the electricity supply, roads, railroads and computer or Internet connections.

The study on foreign direct investment in the least developed countries is intended to inform the debate at a conference that will be held in Istanbul, Turkey next week.

Charles Appel, United Nations.

Duration: 53″

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