Aid for Trade at a Glance 2015

Reducing Trade Costs for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth

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The Aid for Trade Initiative has allowed for the active engagement of a large number of organisations and agencies in helping developing countries and especially the least developed build the infrastructure and supply-side capacity they need to connect to regional and global markets and improve their trade performance. The new development paradigm under the post-2015 Development Agenda requires an integrated approach to ensure that the aid for trade achievement leads to inclusive and sustainable development outcomes. Embedding trade cost at the centre of the Aid for Trade Initiative provides an operational focal point for such action among a broad collation of stakeholders.

The 2015 joint OECD/WTO publication Aid for Trade at a Glance focusses on how reducing trade costs will help in achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The publication contains contributions from the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and the World Bank.


English Also available in: French, Spanish

Executive summary

High trade costs inhibit numerous developing countries from fully exploiting the market access opportunities that the multilateral trading system creates. Cumbersome and time-consuming border procedures, obsolete or ill-adapted infrastructure, limited access to trade finance and the complexity and cost of meeting an ever broader array of standards all serve to price too many countries out of international trade. Comparative advantage remains underexploited. Market access does not always convert into market presence. The potential gains from trade are not always fully realised. The Aid-for-Trade Initiative was launched at the 2005 Hong Kong World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference to tackle these kinds of constraints and is making headway. The joint OECD-WTO report, Aid for Trade at a Glance 2015, cites many examples of where obstacles are being overcome and the attendant development benefits. Yet more remains to be done. The report calls for a redoubling of efforts to tackle the issue of trade costs which continues to marginalise many of the world’s poorest and most fragile economies.

English Also available in: Spanish, French

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