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Aid for Trade at a Glance 2017

Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development

image of Aid for Trade at a Glance 2017

This edition of Aid for Trade at a Glance focuses on trade connectivity, which is critical for economic growth, inclusiveness and sustainable development. Physical connectivity enables the movement of goods and services to local, regional and global markets. It is closely intertwined with digital connectivity which is vital in today’s trade environment. Yet, the Internet remains inaccessible for 3.9 billion people globally, many of whom live in the least developed countries.

This report builds on the analysis of trade costs and extends it into the digital domain, reflecting the changing nature of trade. It seeks to identify ways to support developing countries – and notably the least developed – in realising the gains from trade. It reviews action being taken by a broad range of stakeholders to promote connectivity for sustainable development, including by governments, their development partners and by the private sector. One message that emerges strongly is that participation in e-commerce requires much more than a simple internet connection.

Chapters were prepared by the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and Business for eTrade Development.

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Closing the small-business and gender gap to make trade more inclusive

Over the past three decades, the connections that bind the economic activities of countries have grown and deepened at a remarkable rate. This chapter looks at the role of digital connectivity in linking small and medium enterprises, and in particular women-owned or managed enterprises, with customers and suppliers around the world. Firm-level data show that there is a significant connectivity gap between small and large firms, as well as for women-owned or managed firms. This chapter uses a selection of firmlevel data to shed light on the causes and effects of these gaps, and to assess their ultimate impact on trade. Checklists to help policymakers identify policy solutions are also provided.

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