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Aid for Trade at a Glance 2017

Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development

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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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Improving the E-Trade environment

For many governments, making the most of e-trade to generate opportunities for economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction is a priority. Upgrading e-trade competitiveness requires an understanding of the diverse elements of the e-trade environment, from the foundations of connectivity to the key enabling conditions, as a basis for policy reform and aid for trade. This chapter surveys the key reasons why e-trade matters for developing country participation in trade. It examines the key elements of the e-trade environment, including the foundations for connectivity. It looks at the enabling conditions for e-trade, with examples of World Bank projects. The chapter introduces a new approach being piloted by the World Bank for assessing the e-trade environment at the country level, in order to assist developing country governments in undertaking reform and identifying priority areas for assistance from the World Bank and other partners.

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