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.


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The way forward

Much has been achieved since the Aid for Trade Initiative became operational in 2006. The initiative has succeeded in raising awareness among developing countries and donor agencies about the positive role that trade can play in promoting economic growth and development. Since 2006, a total of USD 246.5 billion in official development assistance and USD 190.7 billion in trade-related other official flows has been disbursed to contribute to financing aid-for-trade programmes. There is now ample empirical evidence suggesting that aid for trade is broadly correlated with increases in trade. Despite these achievements, a number of challenges loom as the Aid-for-Trade Initiative needs to adapt to the 2015 development agenda, with its focus on Sustainable Development Goals, such as maintaining focus, scaling up, ensuring poverty impact, enhancing effectiveness, ensuring sustainability, expanding partnerships. Embedding a trade cost perspective at the centre of the Aid-for-Trade Initiative would provide an operational focal point for action among a broad collation of stakeholders.

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