Translating the Aid for Trade agenda into effective assistance

Although ACP countries are very diverse, according to Uri Dadush of the World Bank, they face very similar challenges: How to use global integration to achieve growth and reduce poverty; how to move from preferences to competing in the global economy; and how to mobilize Aid for Trade to support this process.

He argued that ACP countries, to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the global economy, need to shift their economies into new growth poles. Two elements should guide this process.

First, trade and competitiveness should be at the heart of national development programmes. These should be based on incentives to the private sector, the development of effective and efficient trade-related institutions and services, and an active role by governments in providing information about export markets and in meeting quality standards.

Second, the international community needs to support these activities through Aid for Trade. This is not a new agenda, as much has already been done, for example in Mauritius, Kenya and other COMESA countries, as well as in the Caribbean.

Nevertheless, the agenda needs to be further developed, improved and operationalised.

In particular, he identified some gaps. More attention should be given to non-LDC low-income countries, which so far have been overlooked. And more support needs to be assured for regional projects, where the potential benefits can be large.

Mr. Dadush concluded that there are signs of progress on the Aid for Trade agenda, but we need to translate these into effective assistance, and developing countries themselves need to integrate trade and competitive issues into their development thinking.

Links:

Summary of presentation (doc format)

See more from the 5 December briefing

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