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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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Regional Aid for Trade Effectiveness and Corridors

After emerging at the WTO (World Trade Organization) Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting in 2005, the Aid for Trade (AfT) initiative is now a mainstreamed credo of the international trading system. There is now broad acceptance of the need to assist developing countries to build their capacity to benefit from trade. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that the AfT initiative has succeeded in mobilising resources for trade-related activities while also improving the quality of aid in terms of the ownership and design of programmes and policies (OECD/WTO 2009).

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