AID FOR TRADE GLOBAL REVIEW 2019

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  • Sustainable Development and the Green Economy
  • Connectivity and Digital Skills Development

  

The Aid for Trade Global Review will take place on 3-5 July 2019.  Members welcomed the theme, "Supporting diversification and empowerment", and the suggested format for the event which will include plenary and thematic sessions together with side events. The event is a platform for WTO members and the Aid for Trade community to examine progress made in building trade capacity of developing and least developed countries through Aid for Trade.

Call for proposals to organize side events

The Chair, Ambassador Diego Aulestia of Ecuador, recalled that the deadline for proposals to organize side events during the Global Review is 31 March. Proposals should be submitted using this form to aft.wto@wto.org no later than 31 March. Multiple proposals may be made but the total number of sessions (plenary and other sessions) will not exceed 60.

Deadline extended for questionnaires

The Global Review is underpinned by the Aid for Trade Monitoring and Evaluation Exercise (M&E), which was launched at a meeting of the Committee on Trade and Development on 6 November 2018. The self-assessment monitoring and evaluation exercise explores members' trade and development priorities, and how donors and South-South partners are aligning with each others' priorities.

This year the exercise focused on questions of economic diversification and empowerment. It aims to collect essential information on national Aid for Trade priorities and on the role of the Aid for Trade initiative in supporting economic diversification and empowerment of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), youth and women across the world.

The deadline for the submission of monitoring information was extended to 15 February to allow members, observers and observer organizations a final opportunity to submit their responses. More information about the M&E is available here or by emailing aft.monitoring@wto.org.

Aid-for-Trade implementation activities

Members heard reports of successful Aid for Trade implementation activities from developing and donor  members and observers. Nepal, drawing attention to information contained in its Trade Policy Review, reported on the support it was receiving for socio-economic transformation. Guinea reported on its social and economic national strategies aimed at boosting its agricultural sector and enhancing women's empowerment. Benin highlighted the value of Aid for Trade as evidenced by information gleaned from members' Trade Policy Reviews.

The European Union, one of the donors that made a statement at the meeting, meanwhile presented a new report which outlines the impact of its Aid for Trade activities. The United States provided updates on government procurement, the work of the Standard Alliance and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, support targeted at rural areas, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), women's empowerment and its trade preference programmes.  Australia informed members that it had exceeded its target to spend 20% of its aid budget on AfT in 2016-17 and that it was on track to reach a 25% share in 2018-19.

The World Bank highlighted its activities in support of the organization's trade strategy, which focuses on trade competitiveness and diversification, trade facilitation, transport logistics and trade finance. The World Bank also drew attention to its forthcoming World Development Report dedicated to trade. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) detailed its Country Partnership Programmes.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reported on competitiveness and export opportunities for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The International Trade Centre reported on its projects for youth employment and women's empowerment. The EIF highlighted a WTO project on least-developed country graduation.

Aid for Trade workshops 

Reports were made on two workshops on "Sustainable Development and the Green Economy" and on "Connectivity and Digital Skills Development" held prior to the formal meeting.

The first workshop featured discussions on the interface between Aid for Trade, the sustainable development agenda and the "green" economy. The workshop focused on resilient trade-related infrastructure, access to energy and power generation. The second workshop highlighted the importance of connectivity and digital skills for engaging in electronic commerce. It provided an opportunity to exchange information and experiences from the national and regional level.

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