WTO: 2012 NEWS ITEMS

TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT

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Preparations for fourth Aid for Trade Global Review

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy announced that the fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade, entitled “Connecting to Value Chains”, will take place from 8 to 10 July 2013. 

The Global Review, a biennial monitoring exercise conducted in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), examines how support has been mobilized to help developing countries, in particular least-developed countries (LDCs), integrate into the international trading system and monitors the associated impact on development. The Review provides strong incentives to both donors and recipients to advance the Aid for Trade agenda, by highlighting ongoing needs and best practice.

The fourth Global Review will focus on how developing countries and LDCs are participating in global value chains and the barriers they face. It will also aim to determine how Aid for Trade can best be used to help developing countries enter and establish their own value chains. 

“Looking through the prism of value chains challenges our preconceptions about trade and development,” said Pascal Lamy, noting that the splintering of networks opens many different possibilities for developing countries. “Much of the past 50 years of development assistance and policy has been built on helping countries move to the first production link in the processing chain. Production sharing networks challenge this automatic assumption. They open a range of possibilities, of which this is only one.” He added that value chains at a national, regional and global level could provide opportunities not only in industrial goods but also in services, agriculture and intellectual property.

Japan, the United States, the European Union, the Economic Commission for Africa and the Economic Commission for Europe welcomed the statement and expressed their willingness to participate in the Global Review. Some members expressed concern about the theme.
 

Aid for Trade work programme

The meeting heard reports from members and organizations on their Aid for Trade implementation activities.

The European Union presented an overview of its accountability report on improving support in mobilizing financing for development. Dr Waleed Al-Wohaib, Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, presented an update on the Aid for Trade initiative for the Arab states. China, India and Morocco also stated their continued commitment to Aid for Trade.

Bangladesh, Singapore and Korea shared their experience in implementing their Aid for Trade work programme. The Enhanced Integrated Framework and Comoros also provided an update on their activities, notably a “Vision 2015 and Aid for Trade” round table meeting taking place on 8 November 2012. The Caribbean and the Pacific Islands Forum shared experiences on their regional Aid for Trade strategy. The International Trade Centre presented a report on the World Export Development Forum held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 15-17 October 2012.

On monitoring and evaluation, Dr Tatsufumi Yamagata of the Japan External Trade Organization reported on Japan's evaluation of its Aid for Trade policies and programme. Mr Frans Lammersen of the OECD provided an update on the joint meeting of the Trade Committee on Aid for Trade held in September and OECD’s other Aid for Trade related activities. Mr Michael Roberts, Aid for Trade Coordinator at the WTO Secretariat, outlined the Aid for Trade monitoring exercise and highlighted the end of year deadline for members’ submissions.

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