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9-13 May 2011
Istanbul, Turkey

[Programme Overview]  [Summary Report]  [Featured Attendees]  [LDCs in the News]

Held every ten years, the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) will bring together international leaders from government, business and civil society to focus on actions and opportunities to help the 48 nations at the base of the global pyramid – termed the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – achieve more stable, prosperous and sustainable economies and communities.

The conference provides an important opportunity to elevate the role of private sector investment in the LDCs, as well as mobilize business engagement towards development objectives. In the past ten years, the United Nations has increasingly engaged the private sector as a partner, recognizing that the world’s challenges – for example linked to development, peace and environment – are too complex for any sector to solve alone. Across the UN System, private sector collaboration has become a common and effective way of advancing societal goals at both the global and local levels.

Special Message

From UN Secretary General for Private Sector Track of the Fourth UN Conference On Least Developed Countries. Download.

Business and Investment for the Base of the Pyramid

Successful development requires sufficient private sector investment to enable broad-based sustainable growth. Through the official Private Sector Track of the LDC-IV conference – “Business and Investment for the Base of the Pyramid” – participants can play a crucial role in identifying concrete, action-oriented proposals to address LDC-specific challenges. Particularly in the LDCs, responsible business and investment can assure the longevity and robustness of interventions. For participants, the conference will offer unparalleled opportunities to contribute to building, and ultimately benefiting from, the markets of the future.

The LDC-IV Private Sector Track will include three components:

1. Global Business Partnership Forum (9-13 May 2011)

A multi-stakeholder, working-level platform for dialogue among business, investors, Government officials and other stakeholders over four days. Numerous workshops and plenary sessions will address key LDC themes including: good governance; peace and stability; productive capacity and entrepreneurship; access to finance and markets; climate change; and infrastructure. The Forum will also explore the particular relevance of specific sectors in LDCs, for example agriculture, tourism, telecommunication, energy services and extractives. 

This Forum will approach business and investment opportunities in LDCs from both the vantage point of large international companies looking into LDC development, as well as domestic LDC companies seeking growth and partnerships. The Forum will provide a springboard for the launch of an ongoing platform for LDC partnerships with the private sector. View Forum events.

2. High-Level Meeting on Investment and Partnerships (9 May 2011)

A high-level luncheon convening Heads of State and Government, chief executives and other top leaders. The meeting provides a unique opportunity for the private sector to engage in high-level dialogue with Government heads from around the world. Through roundtable discussions, business leaders will have the opportunity to:

  • Showcase corporate practices and announce new partnerships between business and Governments in support of development
  • Identify new, scalable collective action and innovative business models for contributing to development in the LDCs
  • Highlight ways in which Governments can further facilitate business engagement in LDCs

The High-Level Meeting is designed to appeal to the priorities and interests of chief executives from both international companies and LDC enterprises.

3. Trade Fair (9-13 May 2011)

A dynamic trade fair to showcase export and other commercial opportunities in the LDCs. It will feature an array of booths from LDC companies and Governments, in addition to non-LDC organizations. The Fair will also incorporate a unique dialogue forum to promote a wider knowledge on challenges faced by LDCs, with the goal of facilitating discussion among LDC exporters and interested buyers, partners and investors. Learn more about the Trade Fair.

Additional Information



Last updated: 1 April 2011