WTO Archive

  • Trade and investment can be drivers of inclusive growth for sustainable development in Africa, says the ILO’s Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, Gilbert Houngbo, at UNCTAD 14 in Nairobi but calls for more integrated policies to realize that potential. By Gilbert Houngbo, Deputy Director for Field Operations and Partnerships, the International Labour Organization (ILO). Africa’s rapidly growing workforce needs decent work. Increased trade and investment can help drive inclusive growth for sustainable development but we need more integrated policies to realize that potential. It could prove vital for the creation of decent jobs, especially for millions of young Africans, and this is the message that the ILO is bringing to the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development  (UNCTAD 14) being held from 17 to 22 July in Nairobi, Kenya. How to translate decisions into actions after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ? That’s […]

    UNCTAD 14: Policy coherence needed to turn trade into an engine for growth in Africa

    Trade and investment can be drivers of inclusive growth for sustainable development in Africa, says the ILO’s Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, Gilbert Houngbo, at UNCTAD 14 in Nairobi but calls for more integrated policies to realize that potential. By Gilbert Houngbo, Deputy Director for Field Operations and Partnerships, the International Labour Organization (ILO). Africa’s rapidly growing workforce needs decent work. Increased trade and investment can help drive inclusive growth for sustainable development but we need more integrated policies to realize that potential. It could prove vital for the creation of decent jobs, especially for millions of young Africans, and this is the message that the ILO is bringing to the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development  (UNCTAD 14) being held from 17 to 22 July in Nairobi, Kenya. How to translate decisions into actions after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ? That’s […]

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  • Evaluation of Finnish Aid for Trade – Free Webinar Monday, June 13, 2016 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CEST Register now: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2812033248815322370 Finland’s Action Plan for Aid for Trade 2012 – 2015 “Creating jobs through private sector and trade development” was evaluated. It was interesting, how the cross cutting objectives and human rights based approach are fulfilled in Aid for Trade projects and analyze the relations between Aid for Trade and other sectors and themes. The evaluation also analyzed different forms of cooperation in Aid for Trade (for example country- and region level, multilateral and EU-cooperation, companies, NGOs etc.) as well as the funding instruments (Finnfund and Finnpartnerhip). This Webinar will serve to present and discuss the conclusions and recommendations.

    Evaluation of Finnish Aid for Trade – Free Webinar

    Evaluation of Finnish Aid for Trade – Free Webinar Monday, June 13, 2016 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CEST Register now: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2812033248815322370 Finland’s Action Plan for Aid for Trade 2012 – 2015 “Creating jobs through private sector and trade development” was evaluated. It was interesting, how the cross cutting objectives and human rights based approach are fulfilled in Aid for Trade projects and analyze the relations between Aid for Trade and other sectors and themes. The evaluation also analyzed different forms of cooperation in Aid for Trade (for example country- and region level, multilateral and EU-cooperation, companies, NGOs etc.) as well as the funding instruments (Finnfund and Finnpartnerhip). This Webinar will serve to present and discuss the conclusions and recommendations.

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  • The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has released a new study focusing on SMEs’ lack of access to trade finance, providing a list of recommendations to address the gap. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo has issued a call for action to help close the gaps in the availability of trade finance that affect the trade prospects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in Africa and Asia. In a new WTO publication, “Trade Finance and SMEs: bridging the gaps in provision”, which examines the problem and looks into possible solutions, DG Azevêdo says that easing the supply of credit could have a big impact in helping small businesses grow and in supporting the development of the poorest countries. The WTO’s strategy focuses on three fronts: firstly, encouraging global financial institutions to stay engaged, ensuring that regulations are not prohibitive; then, enhancing local financial institutions’ capacity to supply trade finance to SMEs; finally, […]

    Trade finance and SMEs – Bridging the gaps in provision

    The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has released a new study focusing on SMEs’ lack of access to trade finance, providing a list of recommendations to address the gap. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo has issued a call for action to help close the gaps in the availability of trade finance that affect the trade prospects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in Africa and Asia. In a new WTO publication, “Trade Finance and SMEs: bridging the gaps in provision”, which examines the problem and looks into possible solutions, DG Azevêdo says that easing the supply of credit could have a big impact in helping small businesses grow and in supporting the development of the poorest countries. The WTO’s strategy focuses on three fronts: firstly, encouraging global financial institutions to stay engaged, ensuring that regulations are not prohibitive; then, enhancing local financial institutions’ capacity to supply trade finance to SMEs; finally, […]

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  • Geneva, 7 Mar 2016 (Global Donor Platform for Rural Development) Trade is a means by which poor countries can leverage economic growth, reduce their levels of poverty and even meet the SDGs. For example, SDG 2 on ending hunger and food insecurity points towards correcting and preventing trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets as an indicator towards its achievement. Trade has furthermore emerged as a means to finance development – a position catalyzed by significant reductions in ODA by traditional donors – as it was featured in the FFD3 outcome document. As part of the Platform’s growing work on trade in agriculture and rural development (ARD), the Annual General Assembly, held on 20th January, posed the following question participants: Are agricultural trade and rural development playing a duet or a solo? This is because the governance issues surrounding agricultural trade lead to a number of debates, particularly surrounding […]

    How to increase the positive impact of trade on rural development

    Geneva, 7 Mar 2016 (Global Donor Platform for Rural Development) Trade is a means by which poor countries can leverage economic growth, reduce their levels of poverty and even meet the SDGs. For example, SDG 2 on ending hunger and food insecurity points towards correcting and preventing trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets as an indicator towards its achievement. Trade has furthermore emerged as a means to finance development – a position catalyzed by significant reductions in ODA by traditional donors – as it was featured in the FFD3 outcome document. As part of the Platform’s growing work on trade in agriculture and rural development (ARD), the Annual General Assembly, held on 20th January, posed the following question participants: Are agricultural trade and rural development playing a duet or a solo? This is because the governance issues surrounding agricultural trade lead to a number of debates, particularly surrounding […]

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  • Geneva, 12 October 2015 (UNCTAD) – The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have pledged to work together towards the integration of developing countries, especially the least-developed among them, into the world economy and the multilateral trading system. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, and UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi signed a joint declaration, as they marked the twentieth anniversary of the WTO at its headquarters in Geneva on 12 October. The agreement further strengthens the collaboration between the UNCTAD and WTO in key areas of their work, and builds on Memoranda of Understanding signed by the organizations in 2003 and 2013. UNCTAD and the WTO believe that trade should play a key role in supporting the implementation of the outcomes of the Third International Conference of Financing for Development, in the achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals and, above all, in fostering inclusive […]

    WTO and UNCTAD commit to further help poor countries integrate into the global economy

    Geneva, 12 October 2015 (UNCTAD) – The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have pledged to work together towards the integration of developing countries, especially the least-developed among them, into the world economy and the multilateral trading system. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, and UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi signed a joint declaration, as they marked the twentieth anniversary of the WTO at its headquarters in Geneva on 12 October. The agreement further strengthens the collaboration between the UNCTAD and WTO in key areas of their work, and builds on Memoranda of Understanding signed by the organizations in 2003 and 2013. UNCTAD and the WTO believe that trade should play a key role in supporting the implementation of the outcomes of the Third International Conference of Financing for Development, in the achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals and, above all, in fostering inclusive […]

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  • MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Asia has become increasingly integrated over the past decade, led by growing trade and tourism and, most recently, as the region faced down the global financial crisis and subsequent eurozone crisis, according to a new integration index published in the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) latest Asian Economic Integration Monitor (http://www.adb.org/publications/asian-economic-integration-monitor-march-2013). “Going forward, greater integration will be harder won as the remaining areas of cooperation are more complex,” said Lei Lei Song, Principal Economist in ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration. “Asia needs to avoid complacency and continue to work together in this post-crisis period.” The report warns that the struggles of the eurozone and the fear of the contagion that accompanies greater integration could give Asia’s policymakers pause as they assess the way forward for their region. The index, which monitors foreign direct investment, capital markets, output correlations, trade, and tourism across Asia, shows the level of […]

    Asia is more integrated, but future cooperation will be a complex task

    MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Asia has become increasingly integrated over the past decade, led by growing trade and tourism and, most recently, as the region faced down the global financial crisis and subsequent eurozone crisis, according to a new integration index published in the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) latest Asian Economic Integration Monitor (http://www.adb.org/publications/asian-economic-integration-monitor-march-2013). “Going forward, greater integration will be harder won as the remaining areas of cooperation are more complex,” said Lei Lei Song, Principal Economist in ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration. “Asia needs to avoid complacency and continue to work together in this post-crisis period.” The report warns that the struggles of the eurozone and the fear of the contagion that accompanies greater integration could give Asia’s policymakers pause as they assess the way forward for their region. The index, which monitors foreign direct investment, capital markets, output correlations, trade, and tourism across Asia, shows the level of […]

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  • Study shows that internationally-focused SMEs are twice as likely to be successful as those only operating domestically CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, February 4, 2013/ — International trade and cooperation has become a key driver of small business success according to an in-depth and wide-ranging DHL Express study by IHS, the leading global source of information and analytics. The macro-economic analysis and survey of 410 SME directors in G7 and BRICM¹ economies reveals that SMEs engaged in international markets are twice as likely to be successful as those that only operate domestically². Of the SMEs surveyed, 26% of the companies that were trading internationally significantly outperformed their market, in contrast to only 13% of those with operations only in their home country. SMEs cited the key benefits of this international approach as the access to new markets that it provides them with, as well as access to know-how and technology, and diversification of […]

    Small & Medium African Companies Engaged in International Markets Prosper in ‘Global Village’ | DHL Study

    Study shows that internationally-focused SMEs are twice as likely to be successful as those only operating domestically CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, February 4, 2013/ — International trade and cooperation has become a key driver of small business success according to an in-depth and wide-ranging DHL Express study by IHS, the leading global source of information and analytics. The macro-economic analysis and survey of 410 SME directors in G7 and BRICM¹ economies reveals that SMEs engaged in international markets are twice as likely to be successful as those that only operate domestically². Of the SMEs surveyed, 26% of the companies that were trading internationally significantly outperformed their market, in contrast to only 13% of those with operations only in their home country. SMEs cited the key benefits of this international approach as the access to new markets that it provides them with, as well as access to know-how and technology, and diversification of […]

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  • Global value chains (GVCs) have become a dominant feature of today’s global economy. The proliferation of internationally fragmented production, driven by technological progress, cost, access to resources and markets, and trade policy reforms, challenges our conventional wisdom on how we look at and interpret trade statistics and, in particular, the policies that we develop around them. Traditional measures of trade, that record gross flows of goods and services each and every time they cross borders, may not accurately reflect modern trade patterns and could, if taken alone, lead to ill-informed policy decisions. To help address this issue, the OECD and WTO announced a joint initiative agreed to develop a database of Trade in Value Added indicators and to mainstream their production within the international statistics system. Better understanding global trade flows Database content The first release of OECD-WTO TiVA database presents indicators for 40 countries (all OECD countries, Brazil, China, […]

    “Made in the world”| Measuring Trade in Value Added: An OECD-WTO joint initiative

    Global value chains (GVCs) have become a dominant feature of today’s global economy. The proliferation of internationally fragmented production, driven by technological progress, cost, access to resources and markets, and trade policy reforms, challenges our conventional wisdom on how we look at and interpret trade statistics and, in particular, the policies that we develop around them. Traditional measures of trade, that record gross flows of goods and services each and every time they cross borders, may not accurately reflect modern trade patterns and could, if taken alone, lead to ill-informed policy decisions. To help address this issue, the OECD and WTO announced a joint initiative agreed to develop a database of Trade in Value Added indicators and to mainstream their production within the international statistics system. Better understanding global trade flows Database content The first release of OECD-WTO TiVA database presents indicators for 40 countries (all OECD countries, Brazil, China, […]

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  • KIGALI, Rwanda, 1 November 2012 (ECA) – Countries should correct systemic restrictions on the length of intra-African export relationships in order to deepen regional trade cooperation among African countries, says a paper presented today at the African Economic Conference which opened in Kigali on Tuesday. During a discussion led by Dr. Adam Elhiraika, Chief of the Macroeconomic Section at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the author of the paper, Dr. Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva) outlined some of the restrictions, according to ECA’s Information and Communication Service. These include trade costs, negative policy shocks, informational and bureaucratic frictions as well as institutional weakness, he said. “I also find evidence that financial depth, poor institutions and conflicts do increase hazard rates for African exports”, he added. Dr. Kamuganga suggests that African export trade relationships have a very short life, with the […]

    Intra-African trade restrictions impact regional trade cooperation, Report says

    KIGALI, Rwanda, 1 November 2012 (ECA) – Countries should correct systemic restrictions on the length of intra-African export relationships in order to deepen regional trade cooperation among African countries, says a paper presented today at the African Economic Conference which opened in Kigali on Tuesday. During a discussion led by Dr. Adam Elhiraika, Chief of the Macroeconomic Section at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the author of the paper, Dr. Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva) outlined some of the restrictions, according to ECA’s Information and Communication Service. These include trade costs, negative policy shocks, informational and bureaucratic frictions as well as institutional weakness, he said. “I also find evidence that financial depth, poor institutions and conflicts do increase hazard rates for African exports”, he added. Dr. Kamuganga suggests that African export trade relationships have a very short life, with the […]

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  • OECD countries have pledged to abstain from trade protectionism as part of a concerted drive to shore up the world economy and combat recession. They also have reaffirmed their commitments on aid to developing countries. Already in November 2008, at a meeting of the OECD’s Executive Committee in Special Session, OECD countries agreed to sustain recent commitments regarding open trade in support of developing nations, promising, ”Within the next twelve months… [to] refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports.” They also committed to making efforts to close the Doha trade negotiations, reaching agreements that would lead to ”an ambitious and balanced outcome.” http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/32/41/41836868.htm#H51

    OECD countries reaffirmed commitments to open trade and aid

    OECD countries have pledged to abstain from trade protectionism as part of a concerted drive to shore up the world economy and combat recession. They also have reaffirmed their commitments on aid to developing countries. Already in November 2008, at a meeting of the OECD’s Executive Committee in Special Session, OECD countries agreed to sustain recent commitments regarding open trade in support of developing nations, promising, ”Within the next twelve months… [to] refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports.” They also committed to making efforts to close the Doha trade negotiations, reaching agreements that would lead to ”an ambitious and balanced outcome.” http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/32/41/41836868.htm#H51

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  • With food and other commodity prices skyrocketing in recent months, energy and climate change have been all over the news. Prices for rice, the staple food for about half of the world’s 6 billion people, have soared to record highs, with key benchmarks touching $1000-per-tonne earlier this month, more than double the rate at the start of the year. Prices for a wide range of foods have risen sharply since the end of 2006, affecting commodities from corn, cereals, and soybeans to dairy products, meat, and edible oils. The high prices have spurred food riots in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Mauritania, Mexico, Senegal, and Yemen. In Egypt, where anger over food prices has caused political unrest in the past, the army has been ordered to bake cheap bread for the hungry. Anxious importing countries such as the Philippines and Bangladesh have been unable to buy the amount of […]

    Rising Food Prices hit the Poor, shake Development Agendas

    With food and other commodity prices skyrocketing in recent months, energy and climate change have been all over the news. Prices for rice, the staple food for about half of the world’s 6 billion people, have soared to record highs, with key benchmarks touching $1000-per-tonne earlier this month, more than double the rate at the start of the year. Prices for a wide range of foods have risen sharply since the end of 2006, affecting commodities from corn, cereals, and soybeans to dairy products, meat, and edible oils. The high prices have spurred food riots in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Mauritania, Mexico, Senegal, and Yemen. In Egypt, where anger over food prices has caused political unrest in the past, the army has been ordered to bake cheap bread for the hungry. Anxious importing countries such as the Philippines and Bangladesh have been unable to buy the amount of […]

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  • UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi hailed the Accra Accord and its accompanying political declaration for embodying the shared commitment of the developing and developed world ”to work toward making globalization a powerful means to achieve poverty eradication.” Quoting Ghanaian President John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor, whose country hosted the conference, Dr. Supachai referred to a new mood of ”development solidarity” around the objective of narrowing gaps between countries and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty by 2015. The Accra Accord highlighted the challenges facing many developing countries as they strive to integrate successfully into the international economic and financial system and set out a detailed agenda for progress in economic and social development spanning areas ranging from commodities, trade and debt to investment and new technologies. While welcoming the strong economic growth rates that global trade and investment flows have brought many in the developing world, UNCTAD XII […]

    UNCTAD XII adopts wide-ranging conclusions

    UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi hailed the Accra Accord and its accompanying political declaration for embodying the shared commitment of the developing and developed world ”to work toward making globalization a powerful means to achieve poverty eradication.” Quoting Ghanaian President John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor, whose country hosted the conference, Dr. Supachai referred to a new mood of ”development solidarity” around the objective of narrowing gaps between countries and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty by 2015. The Accra Accord highlighted the challenges facing many developing countries as they strive to integrate successfully into the international economic and financial system and set out a detailed agenda for progress in economic and social development spanning areas ranging from commodities, trade and debt to investment and new technologies. While welcoming the strong economic growth rates that global trade and investment flows have brought many in the developing world, UNCTAD XII […]

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