Aid for Trade in Action

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History has shown that openness to trade is a key ingredient for economic success and for improved living standards. But simply opening the economy to international trade is not enough. Developing countries – especially the least developed – require help in building their trade-related capacities in terms of information, policies, procedures, institutions and infrastructure, so as to compete effectively in the global economy. Aid for trade aims to help countries overcome the supply-side constraints that inhibit their ability to benefit from market access opportunities. The almost 300 case stories show clear results of how aid-for-trade programmes are helping developing countries to build human, institutional and infrastructure capacity to integrate into regional and global markets and to make good use of trade opportunities. Together, these stories are a rich and varied source of information on the results of aid for trade activities – an indication of the progress achieved by the Aid-for-Trade Initiative.



Diversity of aid for trade efforts

In July 2010, the OECD and WTO sent out a call for case stories on aid for trade programs and projects. The goal was to collect information on the policies, processes, practices and processes of aid for trade programmes. This overview chapter provides snapshots of the structure of the response to the call that amounted to 269 case stories. The case stories cover more than 150 countries – ranging from the smallest states, such as Lesotho, Solomon Islands and Comoros, to the largest, such as China and India – and all major developing regions and income categories. The sheer quantity of activities described in these stories suggests that aid for-trade efforts are substantial, that they have taken root across a wide spectrum of countries, and that they are becoming central to development.


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