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Aid for Trade at a Glance 2013

Connecting to Value Chains

image of Aid for Trade at a Glance 2013

This joint OECD-WTO publication puts a spotlight on aid for trade to assess what is happening, what is not, and where improvements are needed. The analysis is focused on trends in aid-for-trade policies, programmes and practices. It shows that the Aid-for-Trade Initiative is delivering tangible results in improving trade performance and bettering people’s lives, notably those of women, in developing countries.

The report highlights that aid for trade plays an important role in enabling firms in developing countries to connect with or move up value chains. In fact, the emergence of value chains strengthens the rationale for aid for trade.

Stakeholders remain actively engaged in the Aid-for-Trade Initiative. The 2013 monitoring exercise was based on selfassessments from 80 developing countries, 28 bilateral donors, 15 multilateral donors, and 9 providers of South-South co-operation. Views were also received from 524 supplier firms in developing countries and 173 lead firms, mostly in OECD countries.

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Introduction

There is a general consensus in the economic literature that strong links exist between trade, economic growth and poverty reduction. Countries that have embraced an outward-oriented development strategy, with trade liberalisation at its heart, have not only outperformed inward-looking economies in terms of long-term aggregate growth rates, but have also succeeded in lowering poverty rates and registering improvements in other social indicators. There are many channels through which trade-induced growth leads to poverty reduction. Indeed, exports act as the conduit through which countries exploit their comparative advantage, improve their overall efficiency and productivity, and enable industries to employ their resources more efficiently and profitably. These factors expand demand, spur consumption, and reduce risks associated with reliance on the domestic market. They also increase employment in labour-intensive sectors and raise wages and standards of living. Imports permit countries to gain access to a wider range of goods and services and allow local firms to benefit from more, cheaper and newer technologies that increase productivity and competitiveness (OECD , 2011).

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