Building technological capacities can help countries escape commodity dependence

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its Commodities & Development Report 2021: Escaping from the  Commodity Dependence Trap through Technology and Innovation which explores the correlation between low technological capacities and high commodity dependence. The report found that approximately 64% of developing economies rely on exporting primary goods, and most risk continuing down a path of commodity dependence unless they embrace technology-enabled structural transformation. Developing countries whose economies depend on commodities must improve their technological capacities to overcome the drawbacks that make their populations poor and vulnerable. Some of these technologies will have to be learned or transferred from abroad. Therefore, ‘it is essential that international public and private partners of commodity-dependent developing countries facilitate technology transfer and participate in commodity-dependent developing country efforts towards building the physical, human and institutional capabilities required for the adoption and domestication of the relevant technologies,’ the report says.