Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics

The Trade Hot Topics series provides concise and informative analyses of various trade and trade-related issues which are prepared both by Commonwealth Secretariat and international experts.


Assessing the Effectiveness of Aid for Trade

AfT came under renewed focus under World Trade Organization (WTO)-sponsored Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, as many developing countries realised that their lack of supply-side capacity prevented them from sharing in the expansion of global trade that has occurred in recent years. The subject of AfT became a priority area of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s work programme on international trade immediately after it was formally discussed by WTO members at their Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in 2005. Since the establishment of the WTO’s role in monitoring AfT flows, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s work in the area, until now, has mainly focused on understanding effectiveness and impact. It has undertaken and commissioned several studies to assess the quantitative evidence. Along with the attempts made to examine the impact of both overall AfT flows and their various types, comparative effectiveness assessment has also been carried out by studying different groups of countries such as the small and vulnerable economies (SVEs) and Sub-Saharan Africa. This issue of Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics provides a summary of the key findings of a number of Commonwealth Secretariat-sponsored studies.


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