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: Effectiveness, Current Issues and Future Directions – An Overview

For several decades now a large number of developing countries have striven for a development strategy that would ensure sustained economic growth, result in employment opportunities and eliminate poverty. Nearly all countries have now shifted from an inward-looking approach to an outward-oriented trade-led growth and development approach, with the export sector receiving policy support and, among other things, foreign investment being promoted. A salient feature of this tradefocused growth and development approach has been marked by developing countries’ increasingly active participation in multilateral and regional trade negotiations. Unilateral liberalisation and regional and multilateral trade agreements led to new international trade policies, although there is a long way to go to achieve the desirable development outcomes.


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