Aid for Trade at a Glance 2009

Maintaining Momentum

image of Aid for Trade at a Glance 2009

Numerous barriers prevent developing countries - in particular the least developed - from taking advantage of trade opportunities that could help them reduce poverty. The Aid-for-Trade Initiative has successfully built awareness of the support these countries need to surmount these barriers. As a result, more and more developing countries are raising the profile of trade issues in their development strategies and donors are responding by increasing the resources they provide to build trade capacity in areas such as policy, institutions and infrastructure.

This aid-for-trade monitoring report - the second of its kind - documents the success of the initiative to date. It examines trends and developments and presents a comprehensive analysis of donor and partner country engagement. In addition, it addresses the regional dimension of aid for trade and showcases three cross-border infrastructure projects. Finally, the report provides fact sheets that help in assessing the outcomes and impacts of aid for trade.

The main conclusions are positive. Nonetheless, the outlook is affected by the current global economic crisis. Aid for trade is now, and more than ever, essential to help suppliers from developing countries build capacity and penetrate global markets. The key message of the report is clear: aid for trade must remain an essential component of development assistance. It offers a number of steps, in this respect, that can advance the aid-for-trade dialogue.

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Creating Fertile Ground

Progress in Partner Country Engagement

Increasingly, partner countries are taking the necessary steps to participate fully in the Aid-for- Trade Initiative as evidenced by a number of positive developments. Almost all partner countries indicate that they have a national development strategy and the majority are also mainstreaming trade based on well-developed trade-related priorities. Although independent surveys raise questions about this positive assessment, it is, nevertheless, a clear indication of the growing awareness among partner countries that trade can play a positive role in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty. Partner countries tend to identify similar aid-for-trade priorities: network infrastructure; competitiveness; export diversification; and trade policy analysis, negotiation and implementation. The majority have operational strategies and many others are in the process of elaborating them. Nearly all partner countries discuss their traderelated financing needs with donors, through a combination of different approaches, including bilateral, regional and multilateral. However, partner countries face challenges in confirming the CRS approximation of their aid-for-trade flows; in the majority of cases, they were unable to compare the CRS proxies with their own data.

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