AID FOR TRADE
The Monitoring and Evaluation Exercise consisted of self-assessment questionnaires submitted by governments from developing and least-developed countries, donors, regional economic communities, and South-South partners. The responses will form the foundation of discussions at the Global Review, which will take place at the WTO from 27 to 29 July under the theme “Empowering Connected, Sustainable Trade.”
The responses reveal that trade remains prominent in governments' development strategies in 2020 and highlight its role in addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in assisting in economic recovery. WTO members and their Aid-for-Trade partners were able to reorient their strategies to meet the challenges arising from the pandemic, with high priority now being given to trade facilitation, growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), trade connectivity, women's economic empowerment, e-commerce and green economic growth.
Introducing the latest figures on Aid for Trade, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported an increase in global Aid-for-Trade disbursements and noted that Aid for Trade represented 30 per cent of Official Development Assistance worldwide. Disbursements amounted to USD 48.7 billion in 2020, up 3 per cent from 2019. Commitments have also increased, up 18 per cent from 2019 to USD 65 billion in 2020. The highest share of Aid-for-Trade flows — 38 per cent — was directed to Africa, with 35 per cent to Asia.
The 2022 Global Review will further develop the themes outlined in the Monitoring and Evaluation exercise, including how to leverage digital connectivity for sustainable development and how trade can be harnessed to fuel post COVID-19 economic recovery, environmental sustainability and women's economic empowerment.
The WTO-led Aid-for-Trade initiative encourages developing country governments and donors to recognize the role that trade can play in meeting development objectives. In particular, the initiative seeks to mobilize resources to address the trade-related constraints identified by developing and least-developed countries. The Global Review is instrumental in helping to galvanize support to address supply-side and trade-related infrastructure obstacles so that developing countries can derive maximum benefit from international trade.