Developing countries lacking in infrastructure and skills will not benefit from economic globalization regardless of open market access, a United Nations trade official said Wednesday.

Speaking in Geneva, the Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Supachai Panitchpakdi emphasized the need for richer countries to increase aid and investment in developing countries. "UNCTAD, development, and the way forward' was the topic he discussed.

"Only investment in the productive sector will create employment, increase household income and reduce poverty over the long term,' he said, citing especially the world's 50 least developed countries (LDCs)', said Panitchpakdi, the former WTO Director -General.

LDCs are countries which according to the UN have the lowest indicators of socio-economic development and the lowest Human Development Index ratings worldwide. Out of the 50 countries considered to be LCD, 34 of them are in Africa.

These countries "simply lack the capacity' to benefit from globalization, Supachai commented. They do not have "the ability to produce goods and services, the knowledge needed to create a broad industrial base and the infrastructure that enables countries to trade and communicate.'