Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade: “Connecting to value chains”

8-10 July 2013
Geneva, WTO Headquarters

The aim of the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade was to examine how to use development assistance to connect developing country and least-developed country (LDC) firms to value chains. 

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The theme of the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade was discussed from the perspective of joining and adding value within the network of production chains.  Another key topic for debate was the development benefits of participation in value chains, notably in the context of the on-going deliberations about the post-2015 development agenda.

The high level meeting was an opportunity for international organizations, the private sector, governments, civil society and academia to discuss the changing nature of value chains and how developing countries, especially LDCs can best derive value from them.

Since its inception in 2007, the Global Review of Aid for Trade has established itself as the pre-eminent multilateral forum exploring trade and development issues. Past global reviews have examined how developing countries, and in particular LDCs, are seeking to integrate into the global economy, how development partners are supporting this process and the efficacy of this assistance. This year's Global Review took as its theme: “Connecting to value chains”.

Global trade is increasingly characterized by transactions within complex value chains. The global expansion of value chains is offering new opportunities for many developing countries. Value chains are no longer just North-South in character, but also involve increasingly complex regional and South-South trade interactions and are extending beyond goods into services too.

However, many developing countries, and in particular LDCs, remain on the margins of global trade, attract limited foreign or domestic investment, and are locked into supplying a narrow range of goods or services. The aim of the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade was to examine strategies to connect developing country and LDC firms to international value chains, how to move up the value chain and discuss the associated development benefits in the context of the debate about the post-2015 development agenda. 

Key themes that emerged from the Review included: the need to engage the private sector; the importance of services for adding value; the key role played by skills; the role that Aid for Trade could play in reducing investor risk; how Aid-for-Trade resources should leverage investment; the critical role of border management and transport services; the importance of access to trade finance. In addition, the private sector underlined that many development challenges (e.g. infrastructure deficits) presented important business opportunities.


> Measuring the Impact of the Global Agenda of Aid for TradeBy Pascal Lamy

> India Africa: South-South Trade and investment for development

> Connecting to Global Value Chains and Aid for Trade by Islamic Development Bank

> Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific: Driving Private Sector Participation in GVCs by the Asian Development Bank

> Building Trade Capacities for Africa’s Transformation by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa