"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

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LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES: PRO- GRESS AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF PROBLEMS by V.A.Meliantsev, Dr.Sc. (Econo- mics), Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Keywords: least developed countries (LCD), economic growth, models and factors of economic development, productivity, poverty, fragile states index
The article, based on a number of calculations and models, examines trends of economic and social performance of four dozen of the poorest countries in the world. It is argued that after a prolonged period of dismal economic growth, the majority of the least developed countries (LDCs), which had carried out a series of institutional and economic reforms and benefitted from improvement in terms of foreign trade and increase in foreign direct investment, have recently recorded a substantial progress in rates of growth of GDP per capita, total factor productivity and investment efficiency. These changes in the most successful among LDCs were largely brought about by upsurge in dynamics of exports, agricultural production and government efficiency. However, the basis of LDCs’ growth is rather shaky. The relative and absolute gaps in development levels between them and on the whole with other developing countries are still expanding. LDCs are grappling with severe manifestations of poverty and suffer from lack of appropriate infrastructure, human capital and workable institutions.