Assessing Aid for Trade

Effectiveness, Current Issues and Future Directions

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Aid for Trade (AfT) has been an integral part of official development assistance (ODA) since its inception at the World Trade Organization’s Hong Kong Ministerial in 2005. While many observers agree that the initiative has generated momentum in securing more trade support, the policy discourse on AfT continues to be vibrant and dynamic.

This volume, comprising 16 chapters prepared by 20 renowned experts from a range of international organisations, think tanks and academic institutions, including Commonwealth Secretariat, ODI, ECDPM, DIE, ICTSD, Saana Consulting, WTI Advisors, and Columbia University, provides a comprehensive review of the Aid for Trade initiative.

Part I of this volume uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to examine the effectiveness of different components of Aid for Trade and underlying factors affecting the outcomes. Part II provides analyses of current issues, including regional AfT, global value chains, infrastructure for development for agriculture, AfT adjustment and lessons from emerging economies in aiding exports. Part III looks to the future, proposing a range of possible directions including an alternative way to improve trade outcomes for developing countries from Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.



Aid for Trade and Value Chains in Small and Vulnerable Economies and Least Developed Countries

In recent times participation in global value chains (GVCs) is considered essential by most developing countries including small and vulnerable economies (SVEs) and least developed countries (LDCs). GVCs are seen as important routes to markets for export products and services, offering new opportunities to firms, particularly in expanding their business opportunities across borders. This is important, especially given that reaching international markets can be very difficult for firms located in SVEs and LDCs. There is a need to recognise a number of challenges which SVEs and LDCs have to face in terms of policy reforms aimed at increased and meaningful participation in GVCs.


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