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Aid for Trade at a Glance 2019

Economic Diversification and Empowerment

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This edition analyses how trade can contribute to economic diversification and empowerment, with a focus on eliminating extreme poverty, particularly through the effective participation of women and youth. It shows how aid for trade can contribute to that objective by addressing supply-side capacity and trade-related infrastructure constraints, including for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises notably in rural areas.

The analysis is based on the views of 133 respondents – 88 developing countries, 35 donors, 5 providers of South-South trade-related support and 5 regional organisations – who participated in the 2019 aid-for-trade monitoring and evaluation exercise. They share the view that economic diversification is a gateway for economic empowerment, but also that empowerment is essential for economic diversification particularly when it enables youth, women and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises to engage in international trade.

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Promoting economic diversification and structural transformation through industrialisation

This chapter analyses production capabilities – an essential component for the Aid for Trade Initiative to be effective. Past growth in manufacturing and related services sectors has absorbed large numbers of workers into productive jobs and increased the prosperity of their families and communities. Industrialisation and structural transformation remain at the core of many national and regional economic development strategies. In view of greater automation and digitisation, this chapter also discusses the implications of the changing nature of industrialisation and the production process for the future of manufacturing development. Policy lessons are drawn to address “supply side constraints” in manufacturing through aid for trade, which in turn contributes to structural transformation. One theme that re-emerges throughout the chapter is the opportunities industrial policy offers for inclusive and sustainable development. Relevant environmental aspects, like green technologies and energy efficiency, are also considered in the context of economic competitiveness and sustained growth.

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