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The Challenges Facing Landlocked Developing Countries


  • Michael Faye
  • John McArthur
  • Jeffrey Sachs
  • Thomas Snow


In spite of technological improvements in transport, landlocked developing countries continue to face structural challenges to accessing world markets. As a result, landlocked countries often lag behind their maritime neighbours in overall development and external trade. While the relatively poor performance of many landlocked countries can be attributed to distance from coast, this paper argues that several aspects of dependence on transit neighbours are also important. Four such types of dependence are discussed: dependence on neighbours' infrastructure; dependence on sound cross-border political relations; dependence on neighbours' peace and stability; and dependence on neighbours' administrative practices. These factors combine to yield different sets of challenges and priorities in each landlocked country. The paper concludes with a brief set of policy recommendations. A detailed appendix presents maps and regional overviews that outline key challenges facing the landlocked countries in each region.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Faye & John McArthur & Jeffrey Sachs & Thomas Snow, 2004. "The Challenges Facing Landlocked Developing Countries," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 31-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:5:y:2004:i:1:p:31-68
    DOI: 10.1080/14649880310001660201

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. MacKellar, Landis & Woergoetter, Andreas & Woerz, Julia, 2000. "Economic Development Problems of Landlocked Countries," Transition Economics Series 14, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    2. Canning, David, 1998. "A database of world infrastructure stocks, 1950-95," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1929, The World Bank.
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