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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.

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Future Directions in Aid for Trade

The Aid for Trade (AfT) initiative is at a critical juncture. It has been successful in generating momentum over the past seven years by making donors and developing countries more aware of the role of trade in development and by increasing the amount of funds available for AfT. However, with aid resources under pressure (both the total aid budget and the resources available for AfT declined in 2011), with the nature and scope of development finance flows to developing countries changing rapidly, and with trade patterns continuing to change, the question is how the AfT initiative can remain relevant. We consider this question in this concluding chapter.

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