The problems of landlocked countries

Definition

Landlocked countries have no territorial access to the seas, limited border crossings and transit dependence.

Overview

Due to their remoteness, landlocked countries are dependent on neighbouring transit countries for their external trade and suffer from high trade transaction costs. Huge transport costs, inadequate infrastructure and bottlenecks associated with importation and exportation requirements can be a serious stumbling block to their integration into the global economy, impairing export competitiveness or the inflow of foreign investment.

There are 31 landlocked developing countries(LLDCs) world-wide: 15 are located in Africa, 12 in Asia, 2 in Latin America and 2 in Central and Eastern Europe. According to the World Bank (1999), LLDCs are paying around 50 percent more in transport costs than coastal countries, and have up to 60 percent lower volumes of trade. Inefficient customs and transit transport procedures are considered to be the main cause of delays and high transport costs and represent a greater obstacle to trade for LLDCs than tariffs.

As a result of the LLDCs marginalization in global trade, the amount contributed by LLDCs to developing countries’ share of global exports has exhibited a consistent decline. Their proportion of developing country exports has fallen from an already small portion of 2.4 percent in 1990 to only 2 percent in 2000, representing a yearly decrease of 2.1 percent. In contrast, the share accounted for by transit developing countries rose from 53 percent to 60 per cent, which was an annual increase of 1.1 percent. This trend attests to the marginalization of LLDCs that has been taking place in the world economy.

The International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in August 2003, in order to address the challenges of LLDCs. As a result, the ministers of 30 LLDCs adopted the Almaty Programme of Action (PDF): Addressing the Special Needs of Landlocked Developing Countries within a New Global Framework For Transit Transport Cooperation for Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and the Almaty Ministerial Declaration.

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Almaty Programme of Action: Addressing the Special Needs of Landlocked Developing Countries within a New Global Framework for Transit Transport Cooperation for Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries

Release date: 
08/29/2003
Published date: 
08/29/2003

The Almaty Programme of Action aims to forge partnerships in order to overcome the problems LLDCs face due to their lack of territorial access and their isolation from world markets. 

Type: 
Reports/Studies
Relevance Degree: 
Useful Background
Geographic coverage: 
Not Global

Design and implementation of transit transport arrangements (2004)

Release date: 
11/06/2004
Published date: 
11/06/2004

Countries that depend on transit trade, i.e. notably the landlocked countries, are confronted with a variety of practical constraints that increase the logistics costs of their international trade. For example, it is estimated that landlocked developing countries have to bear, on average, 50 per cent higher international transport costs than their neighbouring transit/coastal countries.

Type: 
Reference Documents
Reports/Studies
Relevance Degree: 
Good Read
Geographic coverage: 
Global

Economic Development Problems of Landlocked Countries

Release date: 
08/04/2004
Published date: 
08/04/2000

Do landlocked countries face special economic development problems? Whereas traditional neoclassical theory is ambiguous, more recent directions in trade theory and the theory of economic growth suggest reasons why landlocked countries might be at a disadvantage. Our empirical evidence confirms the hypothesis that landlocked countries experience slower economic growth.

Read this PDF paper from the website of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna.

Type: 
Reference Documents
Relevance Degree: 
Good Read
Geographic coverage: 
Global

Export Profiles of Small Landlocked Countries: A Case Study Focusing on their Implications for Lesotho

Release date: 
08/04/2004
Published date: 
08/04/2003

World Bank demographic and country characteristic statistics identify 16 small landlocked countries that are similar to Lesotho. Ng and Yeats attempt to determine what useful policy information can be derived from the recent trade performance of these “comparators.” Among questions they pose are whether the trade profiles of the comparators suggest potentially promising export ventures for Lesotho, do they indicate directions for a geographic diversification of trade, or do they suggest products in which Lesotho might acquire a comparative advantage. The authors also use U.S.

Type: 
Reports/Studies
Relevance Degree: 
Good Read
Geographic coverage: 
Global

Prisoners of Geography (landlocked countries, economies) (2001)

Release date: 
03/21/2004
Published date: 
03/21/2004

Land transportation is especially costly for landlocked countries whose products need to cross borders, which are a much more costly hurdle than previously thought. Studies on trade between U.S. states and Canadian provinces find that simply crossing the U.S.-Canadian border is equivalent to adding from 4,000 to 16,000 kilometers worth of transportation costs. Little wonder, then, that the median landlocked country pays up to 50 percent more in transportation costs than the median coastal nation.

Type: 
Press article
Relevance Degree: 
Useful Background
Geographic coverage: 
Global

Shipping Costs, Manufactured Exports, and Economic Growth (1998)

Release date: 
03/20/2004
Published date: 
03/20/2004

In this paper we examine some empirical evidence on differences in shipping costs across developing countries, and its impact on manufactured exports and economic growth. We find that geographical considerations -- specifically access to the sea and distance to major markets -- have a strong impact on shipping costs, which in turn influence success in manufactured exports and long-run economic growth.

Type: 
Reports/Studies
Relevance Degree: 
Useful Background
Geographic coverage: 
Global

Infrastructure Development in Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries: Foreign Aid, Private Investment and the Transport Cost of Landlocked Devloping Countries (2001)

Release date: 
02/29/2004
Published date: 
02/29/2004

The focus on both landlocked countries and their transit neighbours is important for the two main objectives of this report: (a) to examine the extent of external financial support for the main transit corridors serving landlocked countries, which by their very geographical nature lie mainly in the territory of transit neighbours; and (b) to provide an analysis of the overall size of the transport cost burden on imports facing landlocked countries in comparison with their own coastal transit neighbours.

Type: 
Reports/Studies
Relevance Degree: 
Good Read
Geographic coverage: 
Global

Landlocked countries: opportunities challenges, recommendations (2003)

Release date: 
02/01/2004
Published date: 
02/01/2004

Landlocked countries, i.e. countries without direct coastal access to the sea and thus also to maritime trade, face very specific challenges. Compared with their coastal neighbouring countries, they start their trading “career” with numerous disadvantages from the outset. The situation is almost always aggravated when being landlocked coincides with other factors such as remoteness from major markets, tropical climates, considerable distance from the coast, poor infrastructure, or an inadequate policy, legal or institutional environment.

Type: 
Reference Documents
Relevance Degree: 
Good Read
Geographic coverage: 
Global

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