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WTO committees and agreements

Aid for Trade

Aid for Trade helps developing countries, and particularly least developed countries, trade. Many developing countries face a range of supply-side and trade-related infrastructure obstacles which constrains their ability to engage in international trade.

The WTO-led Aid for Trade initiative encourages developing country governments and donors to recognize the role that trade can play in development. In particular, the initiative seeks to mobilize resources to address the trade-related constraints identified by developing and least-developed countries.

  

 VIDEOS 

 

 


News  back to top

 

Ministerial Decision on Aid for Trade

At the Ninth Ministerial Conference in December 2013, a Ministerial Decision on Aid for Trade was taken (WT/L/909). The decision reaffirmed WTO members' commitment to the initiative, recognizing the continuing need for Aid for Trade in developing countries, and in particular least-developed countries (LDCs).

> Ministerial Decision

 

Global Review of Aid for Trade

The purpose of the Global Review is to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of Aid for Trade to provide a strong incentive to both donors and recipients for advancing the Aid for Trade agenda.

> Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade: “connecting to value chains”  8-10 July 2013

Global Review 2011
Global Review 2009
Global Review 2007

 

Aid for Trade work programme  back to top

Activities under the Aid for Trade initiative are carried out on the basis of a biennial work programme. These work programmes promote deeper coherence and an on-going focus on Aid for Trade among the trade and development community, notably with regard to showing results. Work programmes have generated impetus to the Aid for Trade implementation activities on the ground. The programmes include a calendar of meetings which provides information on progress achieved in the various areas of the Aid for Trade initiative and which culminates in a Global Review of Aid for Trade.

The Aid for Trade Work Programme 2012-2013, issued on 15 November 2011, was based on the theme “deepening coherence” and focused on five key areas: resource mobilization, mainstreaming of trade into development plans and programmes, regional trade integration, private sector development, and monitoring and evaluation of Aid for Trade.

In line with the decision adopted by Ministers at the Ninth Ministerial Conference held in Bali in 2013 (WT/MIN(13)/34), a new Aid for Trade work programme is being developed that will provide a framework for activities over the period 2014-2015.

  

Role of the WTO  back to top

The role of the WTO is to:

  • encourage additional flows of Aid for Trade from bilateral, regional and multilateral donors to support requests for trade-related capacity building from beneficiary countries

  • support improved ways of monitoring and evaluating the initiative

  • encourage mainstreaming of trade into national development strategies by partner countries.  


The Enhanced Integrated Framework is the main mechanism through which least-developed countries access Aid for Trade.

The Standards and Trade Development Facility maintains close contacts with the Aid for Trade initiative. It complements this global scheme through projects and monitoring of aid flows at an operational, issue-specific level.

Fact sheet on Aid for Trade
> Presentation — Aid for Trade: why, what and how?

 

Background

The Aid for Trade initiative was launched at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December 2005. In February 2006 the WTO established a Task Force, with the aim of “operationalizing” Aid for Trade.

The Task Force recommended in July 2006 that Aid for Trade should focus on identifying the needs within recipient countries, responding to donors and acting as a bridge between donors and developing countries. It also recommended the establishment of a monitoring body in the WTO, which would undertake a periodic global review based on reports from a variety of stakeholders.

 

Working in cooperation  back to top

The WTO works in cooperation with, and encourages coordination among, a number of key players in the Aid for Trade initiative to take forward the Task Force recommendations. Key players include: the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, International Trade Centre (ITC), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Bank, World Customs Organization, the Enhanced Integrated Framework, and the Standards and Trade Development Facility.

 

Implementation/monitoring  back to top

In 2007 the WTO's Aid for Trade initiative moved into its first stage of implementing the 2006 recommendations of the Aid for Trade Task Force.

The WTO started by establishing a system of monitoring Aid for Trade at three levels:

  • global monitoring of overall Aid for Trade flows, based on work carried out by the OECD

  • monitoring the commitment of individual donors to provide additional Aid for Trade

  • monitoring how the needs of developing countries for additional Aid for Trade are being presented to, and met by, the international donor community, including the development banks.

A Symposium Identifying Indicators for Monitoring Aid for Trade was held on 15-16 September 2008.

Since the inception of the Aid for Trade initiative, four monitoring exercises have been undertaken, each with greater complexity and depth. Global Review events have also been held under the themes of “Maintaining Momentum” in 2009, “Showing Results” in 2011, and “Connecting to Value Chains” in 2013. At each event, the WTO and OECD issue a joint flagship report on “Aid for Trade at a Glance”.

 

Regional reviews  back to top

Working with its partner agencies, the WTO also encourages the holding of national and sub-regional Aid-for-Trade reviews to “road-test” Aid-for-Trade plans, identify priorities, and agree on how these plans and priorities should be implemented. These review events provide a platform to raise awareness of Aid for Trade, showcase “real-world” examples of Aid-for-Trade strategies in progress, and create incentives for other countries and sub-regions to follow. The results of these regional reviews are profiled in the Global Reviews of Aid for Trade.

Regional Reviews 2009
Regional Reviews 2007

 

Events  back to top

 

Official documents on Aid for Trade  back to top

Links to documents series: (WT/AFT/*) and (WT/COMTD/AFT/*)

 New publications

> Connecting Least-Developed countries to value chains


> Aid for Trade at a Glance 2013

> Aid for Trade at a Glance 2013 (Pocket Edition)

 


> Aid for Trade in Action

 

 Sector Studies

Aid for Trade and Value Chains in Agrifood

Summary
video


Aid for Trade and Value Chains in Information and Communication Technology

Summary
video


Aid for Trade and Value Chains in Textiles and Apparel

Summary
video


Aid for Trade and Value Chains in Tourism

Summary
video


Aid for Trade and Value Chains in Transport and Logistics

Summary
video

> Measuring the Impact of the Global Agenda of Aid for TradeBy Pascal Lamy

> India Africa: South-South Trade and investment for development

> Connecting to Global Value Chains and Aid for Trade by Islamic Development Bank

> Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Driving Private Sector Participation in GVCs by the Asian Development Bank

> Building Trade Capacities for Africa’s Transformation by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa