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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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Foreword

Economic diversification and empowerment are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Both objectives also embody the rationale behind the Aid for Trade Initiative. Economic diversification offers a pathway for empowerment, while empowement allows women, youth and micro, small and medium sized enterprises to engage in trade. Growth in agriculture, manufacture and services offers entrepreneurial opportunities and generates productive jobs. In turn, this economic diversification contributes to rising incomes and human development more generally. We have seen this pattern of progress in many developing countries bringing substantive reductions in extreme poverty.

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