OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Building Capacity to Trade

What Are the Priorities?

The Doha Declaration stresses the “important role” of “well targeted, sustainably financed technical assistance and capacity-building programmes”. It dedicates a whole section to them, and reiterates the commitment of its membership to help the weakest among them participate effectively in the multilateral trade system. What does this mean in practice? What exactly is the purpose of “trade capacity building” (TCB)? Who should provide this assistance and how? Is it all gain for developing countries, or does it entail risks? As more and more funds are earmarked for TCB, often for the benefit of countries with very low absorption capacity, recipients and donors need clear answers to these questions. Based on a recent review of trade capacity building projects administered in African and Caribbean countries, and on recent analytical work in Eastern Africa, this paper attempts to provide some elements of response2 ...


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