Least developed countries hardest hit by Covid-19
The service sector in the least developed countries in the world has been hardest hit by the COVID -19 pandemic. This disclosure was made by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which reported that the sector reached an “unprecedented low” in the first half of this year declining by as much as 40 per cent.
The organisation, which regulates global trade, said that exports in these countries have decreased by 16 per cent between January and June in 2020. Travel exports are estimated to have dropped by nearly 60 per cent and the tourism sector, a cornerstone of the economy in these nations, has been “devastated” according to the WTO.
Conversely, and fortunately for countries like St Vincent and the Grenadines, the organisation notes that agriculture has been the least affected economic activity in the least developed countries. The fall-off in this sector is estimated by the WTO as being only one per cent in the first half of the year.
It notes that “trade in agricultural products fell less than other categories in the second quarter since food is a necessity that continued to be produced and shipped even under the strictest lockdown conditions”.