There are only 94.3 scientific researchers per million people in the least developed countries (LDCs), against 313 in the other developing countries (ODCs) and 3,728 in rich countries (high-income OECD). Enrolment in University-level is only 3.5% in the LDCs, against 23% in ODCs and 69% in rich countries.
LDC Governments are devoting only 0.3% of their GDP to research and development, against 0.8% in other developing countries and 2.4% in rich countries.
For each machinery or equipment imported by least developed countries (LDCs) by inhabitant, other developing countries (ODCs) import 12 times as many: LDCs imported $18 of capital goods per inhabitant 2000-05, against some $207 for ODCs. While just 20% of capital goods imports of LDCs consisted of information and communication technonoly (ICT) capital goods, in ODCs this share was much higher: ICTs made up half of ODC total capital goods imports.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the LDCs in 2000-05 were three times higher than in the preceding 10 years, but still they accounted for only 1% of world inflows in 2000-05 and 0.7% of world stock in 2005. FDI inflows to the LDCs are highly concentrated geographically: just four petroleum-producing LDCs – Angola, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan – received more than half (56%) of the total FDI inflows going to all 50 LDCs in 2000-05.
Total FDI inflows into African LDCs rose fourfold from an annual average of $1.7 billion in the 1990s to $6.8 billion in 2000-05. Such an increase in FDI was due to African LDC governments´ providing more favourable treatment to foreign investors, and to the worldwide race for new sources of natural resources.
LDC imports of technology through plans, projects, industrial designs and blueprints – rather than through physical capital goods – (i.e. licensing) amounted to $0.07 per inhabitant in 2000-2005, while in ODCs it was 90 times higher ($6.36 per inhabitant). Such imports by LDCs have stagnated since the late 1990s.