Aid for Trade
18 July 2011
On 19th July, European Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will represent the European Commission at the World Trade Organisation's Third Global Review of Aid for Trade in Geneva.
The meeting will be a key opportunity for donors and developing countries to come together to look at how Aid for Trade (AfT) is helping people across the world to trade and what has been achieved since the launch of the Aid-for-Trade Initiative at the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in 2005. The focus of the Third Global Review will be on showing results, drawing lessons about the impact on the ground and considering how best to maximize the potential of AfT in the future. The EU is the world's largest provider of Aid for Trade.
One in six people in the world today live on less than a dollar a day. Poor people need decent jobs, in order to make a living and provide for their families. Governments need tax revenue to invest in social services and encourage economic growth. Increasing trade and investment is one important way of achieving this and is part of the strategy for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The EU already grants the poorest countries in the world complete duty and quota free access to its markets, and recently, the Rules of 0rigin that determine whether a product is eligible to that free access were also relaxed, thus ensuring that developing countries really benefit from the trade preferences on offer to them.
But market access alone is not sufficient to generate trade, especially in the poorest countries. Many countries also face internal "behind the border" constraints such as a lack of productive capacity and ability to meet standards in high value export markets, excessive red tape, or poor infrastructure; all of which make it difficult for developing countries to exports their products and undermine the potential benefits of increased imports. Targeting these constraints is what Aid for Trade (AfT) is all about, along with strengthening countries’ capacity to negotiate and implement trade agreements to their benefit.
The EU is a longstanding provider of development assistance to support increased international and regional trade. To build further on this experience, the EU and its Member States adopted a joint AfT Strategy on 15 October 2007 to enable them to support all developing countries - particularly the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) - to better integrate into the world trading system and to use trade more effectively to help eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development.
AfT embraces "classical" trade-related assistance (trade policy and regulation, trade development), as well the other areas identified by the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Aid for Trade Taskforce: productive capacity building, trade-related infrastructure, trade-related adjustment and "other trade-related needs".
Source: The Financial/ Finchannel.com
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