Integrated Framework fact sheet

WHAT is the Integrated Framework and the Enhanced Integrated Framework?

  • The Integrated Framework (IF) is a six agency program chaired by the World Trade Organization which aims to integrate the Least Developed Countries into the global economy. Through a multi-agency coordination, the program provides trade-related technical assistance and capacity building. The International Monetary Fund, the International Trade Centre, the UN Conference for Trade and Development, the UN Development Programme, the World Bank and WTO work with LDCs and their development partners to identify and address their trade development needs to assist them in becoming full and active players and beneficiaries of the multilateral trading system.

    The IF process consists of four phases: (1) Awareness-building on the importance of trade for development; (2) preparation of a Diagnostic Trade Integration Study to formulate a plan of action to integrate the country more fully into the global trading system while identifying those sectors of greatest export potential and those constraints that may impede trade; (3) ensuring that this plan of action becomes part of the broader national development plan; and (4) putting the action plan into place in partnership with the development cooperation community.

    In the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration from December 2005, Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to better integrate LDCs into the multilateral trading system, and decided the vehicle for this would be an Enhanced IF. The IF will be enhanced through increased financial resources to implement action plans, strengthened in-county capacities to put in place, manage and monitor IF progress.

WHAT is the purpose of the Integrated Framework?

  • The IF enables LDCs to work with the six agencies and other development partners to ensure that national trade policies are integrated into their respective development strategies. The IF facilitates a coordinated response by the various agencies and development partners to the trade related assistance and capacity building needs identified by each of the LDC governments and other national stakeholders.

WHO benefits from the Integrated Framework?

  • To date, 36 LDCs (of a total of 49) have become beneficiaries under the IF; this figure includes recent additions such as Solomon Islands and Guinea-Bissau where the process has only just started. Of the 36 beneficiaries, 24 have completed the diagnostic stage, and are now implementing the plan of action. An additional 8 LDCs are in preparatory phase to accession to the IF process.

WHAT are the results of the IF?

  • The IF trust fund finances diagnostic studies and a small contribution towards implementation of priority actions (up to US$1million per country). Total contributions to the trust fund amount to US$50 million and total allocations from the fund to US$27 million of which about 47% has been used towards diagnostic activities and 53% for implementing priority actions. Among some of these priorities are streamlining customs to avoid overly long and costly processes, building the necessary architecture to satisfy complex food security standards or building capacity at the Ministry of Trade to facilitate exports. An indicative budget over the coming five years for the Enhanced IF amounts to USD 400 million, subject to the actual funding pledged and provided at the September 2007 funding meeting in Stockholm.