Regional Perspectives on Aid for Trade

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Deepening economic integration via regional co-operation has emerged as a key priority in the reform strategies of most developing economies over the past decade. This is evidenced by the explosive growth in bilateral and regional trading agreements in which they now participate. Regional aid for trade can help developing countries spur regional economic integration, enhance competitiveness, and plug into regional production networks.

Based on a rich set of experiences regarding regional aid for trade projects and programmes, the study finds that regional aid for trade offers great potential as a catalyst for growth, development and poverty reduction. The study recommends greater emphasis on regional aid for trade as a means of improving regional economic integration and development prospects. While regional aid for trade faces many practical implementation challenges, experience has shown that associated problems are not insurmountable but do require thorough planning, careful project formulation, and prioritization on the part of policy makers.



Foreword and Acknowledgements

Increased trade of goods and services has played a big part in the enormous development progress we have seen over the past decades. China alone has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty after they opened up their economy in the late 1970’s and surged ahead to become the world’s largest exporter. But there is still much progress to be made. Global incomes could be increased by USD 400 billion simply by improving trade rules. Aid for Trade has been a great success and contributed to increased trade in developing countries.


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