For Sheila Page of ODI, the starting point of a genuine debate on aid for trade is to recognize that more, and more predictable finances, are needed. It is not a matter of priorities, but of “prioritizing aid for trade.” This must address the preference erosion that developing countries will face by opening up their economies.
She argued that there is much work to be done to define the Aid for Trade concept and some of its components. As Ambassador Gomes stated, elements such as ‘infrastructures’ need a broader and more inclusive definition.
She drew our attention to the way that many EU member states are currently reluctant to increase their financial commitments. She is afraid that things will get worse. Aid for Trade is on the table as part of a broader negotiation process: it is not clear what will happen if trade agreements are not signed. If that’s the case, Mrs. Page thinks that “Aid for Trade will disappear.”
Summary of presentation (doc format)
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