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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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Overview: promoting trade, inclusiveness and connectivity for sustainable development

This chapter provides an overview of the report which examines trade costs and their influence on sustainable development and poverty reduction. It analyses in particular the physical and digital connectivity required to plug into the global economy. It surveys the connectivity challenges faced by developing countries with a specific focus on the least developed, together with the action taken to tackle these constraints. It underscores that digital connectivity is not sufficient to engage in e-commerce – a range of other enabling factors must also be in place. It surveys the policies for supporting developing countries to engage in this form of trade. This overview provides a snapshot of what is happening in promoting trade inclusiveness and connectivity for sustainable development, the impact of that support and where improvements are needed.

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