The Global Review will focus on crucial trade and development issues, such as the trade dimension of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), digital connectivity, women's empowerment and trade facilitation.

The entry into force of the WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on 22 February 2017 has given trade policymakers a powerful tool for reducing the physical trade costs that prevent many firms in developing countries from participating in international trade.  Implementation of the TFA, and the benefits to developing countries from the associated reforms, will be one of the key themes addressed at the Global Review. 

Another key theme of the Global Review is how firms are using digital technology to log on to the multilateral trading system. Research for this year's Aid for Trade at a Glance publication underscores that participation in e-commerce offers firms new opportunities, especially micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women-owned or managed businesses. Digital connectivity is also increasingly important for the operation of customs and other border agencies, which are faced with the challenge of a surge in parcel-based trade.

Action to bridge the digital divide, and in particular the strong gender dimension to this divide, will be a further area of focus. The Review will address women's economic empowerment and examine how Aid for Trade is promoting women's empowerment as part of broader efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2017 edition of "Aid for Trade at a Glance", published jointly by the WTO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, will be launched at the Opening Session. This year's edition features contributions from the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the International Telecommunication Union, International Trade Centre, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the World Bank and Business for eTrade Development. 

The WTO and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will launch a co-publication on trade and food standards, which looks at the importance of governments' engagement in standards development, in resolving trade concerns in the WTO's Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committees as well as the importance of increasing the capacity of developing countries.

Other regional perspectives published by the Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Africa will also be launched at the Global Review.

New features

To expand discussions about the day-to-day aspects of Aid for Trade, the WTO will be launching "Development Hubs", which will give participants and various experts from around the world the opportunity to bring innovative perspectives to trade and development questions through one-to-one discussions and social media interaction.

The Global Review will also feature a live link-up with the Busia One-Stop Border Post between Uganda and Kenya to see trade facilitation in action thanks to TradeMark East Africa.

Online registrations now closing on 5 July

To attend the Global Review, participants must complete an online application form available here. Participants have until 5 July 2017 (midnight) to register.


For more information, please contact us by email at

Get involved

Follow and share updates on the WTO's social media channels. Watch the event live on the WTO website and Facebook at @worldtradeorganization. Tweet your comments and questions at #aid4trade and #connectivity. Follow @WTO.

See full programme for more information here.


Every two years, more than 1,000 delegates and experts from the international trade and development community gather at the WTO for the Aid for Trade Global Review. These reviews have established themselves as a high-level multilateral dialogue not just on Aid for Trade, but also on trade and development issues more generally. Global Reviews provide a platform to examine how developing, and in particular least developed countries (LDCs), are utilizing market access opportunities through targeted Aid for Trade; how this is promoting integration into the global economy and resulting in development impact; and how development partners can best deliver their support.




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