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.

English Also available in: Spanish, French

Aid for trade, economic diversification and empowerment

Since the start of the Aid for Trade Initative, donors have disbursed USD 409 billion in official development assistance to help developing countries build trade capacities. In addition, USD 346 billion in low concessional loans was disbursed. In 2017, aid-for–trade commitments reached USD 57.7 billion, one and a half times the base line average. Empirical findings and evaluations show that this support has helped developing countries improve their competitiveness, expand and diversify their trade, attract foreign direct investment, and create employment for men and women. Despite these positive results, many developing countries continue to specialise in activities with low value added. This means that aid programmes need to focus more explicitly on helping them diversify their economy and create more opportunities for empowering women and youth.



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