13 December 2005

Aid planned as a complement to a market access package

An ambitious market access package, as a result of the negotiations of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), will need to be accompanied by Aid for Trade to help developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) take advantage of new export opportunities and build up their capacity to trade, according to Valentine Rugwabiza, Deputy Director-General of the WTO.

Ms Rugwabiza said that Aid for Trade must be a complement to, not a substitute for, ambitious results from the Doha Development Agenda, and that Aid for Trade “must not have to compete for existing ODA flows with other development and poverty reduction priorities; if more financing turns out to be needed to help build trade infrastructure in developing countries and LDCs, then additional financing will need to be found”.

Ms Rugwabiza made these remarks today at a panel discussion on Aid for Trade jointly organized by the IMF and the World Bank during the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference taking place in Hong Kong from 13 to 18 December 2005.

“One of the aims of the WTO is to help developing countries and LDCs expand their production and exports of goods and services,” Ms Rugwabiza said. “Some countries are succeeding well but others are not, including a large number of LDCs where trade is failing to make the contribution that it should to economic growth and poverty reduction”.

A comprehensive Aid for Trade initiative needs to respond to two sets of concerns, according to Ms Rugwabiza, One is the assistance that some WTO Members will need to help them implement the results of the trade negotiations, and to cope with any economic adjustment costs that may be incurred. The second, broader set of concerns is about the insufficiency of trade-related capacity in many WTO Members to benefit from the opportunities the multilateral rules-based trading system creates to increase investment and expand the production of tradable goods and services.