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In the current economic environment of globalization, trade plays an increasingly important role in shaping economic and social performance and prospects of countries around the world, especially those of developing countries. This new series, Developing Countries in International Trade (DCIT), aims to analyze key trade and development issues facing developing countries on an annual basis. To organize the analytical work, an attempt has been made to develop a conceptual framework to account for the complex interaction of factors affecting trade and development. This interaction is expressed in terms of the Trade and Development Index (TDI), which is the subject matter of Chapter 1. Two special issues are taken up in this report. An in-depth empirical treatment of the determinants of export performance is provided in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3, the issue of adjustment to trade reforms is analyzed.

The Heads of State and Government at the 2005 World Summit reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that trade plays its full part in promoting economic growth, employment and development for all. How can implementation of this commitment be monitored? The elaboration of the TDI tries to respond to this question by developing a conceptual and quantitative framework to systematically monitor the trade and development performance of developing countries with a view to facilitating national and international policies and strategies that would ensure that trade serves as a key instrument of development.

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