Trade Archive

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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 […]

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 economic growth for poverty alleviation.

The organizations plan to reinforce their cooperation on issues such as trade related-technical assistance, trade facilitation, trade and investment, debt and finance, global value chains, commodities, standards, non-tariff measures, and e-commerce, as well as the establishment of a Geneva Trade Statistics Hub.

Dr. Kituyi said: “The signing of this declaration will deepen our collaboration in helping the least developed countries. As we celebrate twenty years of achievement, we recognize that many least developed countries are still commodity dependent, which therefore exposes them to the vulnerabilities of the boom and bust cycle.”

Mr. Azevêdo said: “Our organizations share a common goal of helping developing countries, and especially the least-developed countries, integrate into the global economy. This declaration reaffirms and strengthens the collaboration of our two organisations to keep on promoting trade as a tool for development.”

After the signing ceremony, Dr. Kituyi and Mr. Azevêdo jointly opened the event Twenty years of supporting the integration of least developed countries into the multilateral trading system (https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/devel_e/ldcwtoat20-121015_e.htm) which looked at the key developments and decisions taken in favour of the 48 least developed countries (LDCs), the institutional support provided and the trade capacity-building initiatives put in place. Participants also discussed how the international community could help the LDCs better integrate into the multilateral trading system.

Background

UNCTAD was formed in 1964 to help poor countries adopt policies that would integrate them into the world economy and boost prosperity. UNCTAD is based at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland, and has representative offices at the United Nations in New York and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It works at the behest of 194 member States and employs 500 people.
The WTO deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Among its main functions, it ensures that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

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AfDB Approves a USD 100 million Risk Participation Agreement with Commerzbank AG to Boost Trade Finance in Africa

This facility will help address critical market demand for trade finance in Africa

TUNIS, Tunisia, May 23, 2013/ — The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) approved on Tuesday, May 22, a USD 100 million unfunded Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) between the AfDB and Commerzbank AG under which the two banks will share the default risk on a portfolio of qualifying trade transactions originated by issuing banks in Africa and confirmed by Commerzbank AG. This facility will help address critical market demand for trade finance in Africa by providing support for trade in vital economic sectors such as agribusiness and manufacturing. It will foster financial sector development, regional integration, and increase government revenue generation ultimately improving Africa’s sustainable economic growth.

The majority of African banks have small capital bases which constrain their ability to obtain adequate trade limits from international confirming banks and to undertake sizeable transactions that have significant development impact. Moreover, despite the growth in trade risk distribution globally, local banks in Africa have not significantly benefitted from this growth. AfDB’s additionality lies in the use of its “AAA” rating to share trade risk and expand the trade finance capacity of banks in Africa, thereby expanding trade and strengthening regional integration.

This RPA facility, running over a 3-year period, is 50/50 risk sharing arrangement that will enable Commerzbank AG to match AfDB’s undertaking in every transaction, thereby creating a maximum portfolio of up to USD 200 million. The facility will also result in the provision of significant support to African banks and SMEs. Counting roll-overs, it is expected to facilitate about USD 1.2 billion of trade in equipment, raw materials, intermediate and finished goods over the 3-year period.

Moreover, the proposed facility aligns with AfDB’s Regional Member Countries’ priorities to promote trade as was reaffirmed by the African Union at its 18th Ordinary Session in January 2012. It is also in line with the Bank’s Ten-year Strategy and Regional Integration Strategies which seek to consolidate its engagement in trade finance in Africa.

Source: African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

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Global Trade Logistics Advisory program of the World Bank

The Global Trade Logistics Advisory program of the World Bank Groups’ Investment Climate Department (IC) has been dedicated to assisting countries in creating simple, efficient and accountable trade logistics systems and services that have a dramatic impact on economic development.

The team has produced a video that highlights client success stories from Colombia, Liberia and Rwanda. The countries’ reform experiences serve as testimony to the joint effort involved in improving regulations, policies and streamlining the trade transactions process so as to create an environment that is conducive to trade and business growth.

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Aid for Trade to Africa surpasses other regions, says ECA-led study

Aid for Trade to Africa surpasses other regions, says ECA-led study

ECA Press Release No. 90/2011 Web: http://www.uneca.org/

Addis Ababa, 21 June 2011 (ECA) – African trade experts from member State capitals and the Geneva-based African trade negotiators assembled on Tuesday in Geneva for a
roundtable organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in
preparation for the 18-19 July, 3rd Global Aid for Trade (AfT) review. The aim of the
Review will be to assess the impact of AfT on economic growth, trade creation and poverty reduction.

According to the Information and Communication Service of the ECA, the day’s
roundtable discussed a collaborative study prepared under the auspices of the African
AfT Working Group. The Working Group comprised the African Development Bank, the ECA and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Speaking at the meeting, Stephen Karingi, Acting Director of the ECA Regional
Integration and Trade Division said, “AfT to Africa enjoys continuing growth, with no
apparent decline, following the global economic crisis and no signs of diversion from
other ODA.” He added that compared to other regions, Africa now supersedes Asia as the principal regional recipient of AfT.

Accordingly, economic infrastructure continues to enjoy the largest share of AfT to
Africa, closely followed by building productive capacity. The study shows that up to USD 7.2 billion has gone towards spending in economic infrastructure.

“During the period under review (2006-09), a few countries and regions appear to
receive a disproportionate share, but per capita AfT tells another story,” said Karingi.

He explained that as an example, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania were
among the top AfT recipients. “Yet, on a per capita basis, Island economies received
on average, a higher percentage (17.6) than say, non-LDCs, which received 9.9 per cent.”

Karingi also said that the increase in AfT to Africa is more impressive than the total
ODA flows to the region. “In other words, AfT to Africa increases at much faster rate
than the total ODA flows; growth rate of total ODA stands at 11.1% , while AfT 21.4%) during the period under review (2006-09).”

He argued that the picture demonstrates that AfT to Africa “has been rising, both in
volume terms and as a proportion of both the global AfT and total ODA to the region.”
To the relief of social development actors at the meeting, the study revealed that the
increase in the volume of AfT “was additional and not at the expense of a diversion of resources from other social or economic sectors.”

Case stories were also submitted to the WTO, which according to Karingi, provided a snapshot of AfT experiences on the ground in Africa.

“Of the 269 case stories submitted to the WTO, 114 pertain to Africa,” said Karingi. He added that ECA’s case story documenting the impact of AfT on specific binding constraints is a notable contribution on AfT Approaches for the whole continent.

A number of other issues emerged from the study, including the fact that AfT flow to
Africa is the most stable compared to other developing regions, such as Asia, America,
Europe and Oceania. There are also considerable variations among African countries in
AfT flows in terms of volume, per capita, ratio of disbursements to commitments as well as the share of AfT in the total ODA flows.

The conclusions will feed into the African Group position to the Committee of Trade
and Development to be held later in the week on 23-24 June 2011 and the Third Global Review of Aid for Trade to be held on 18-19 July 2011.

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Governing Development in Africa – Economic Report on Africa 2011 – Focused industrial policy

To catch up and, more important, to meet its own development objectives, Africa needs to promote rapid industrialization that will promote innovation, technological adoption, entrepreneurship, high value added and employment-generating manufacturing. This will enable the continent to overcome the low contribution of industry and manufacturing to GDP and employment. The formulation and implementation of industrial policy will enable African governments to target particular activities or sectors for support. Each country will have to identify niche industries where it has competitive advantages or the capability to develop dynamic advantages. This in turn will contribute to Africa’s industrial development. However, unlike most countries in post-independence Africa, which thwarted the emergence of a capitalist class, the 21st century African developmental state has to vigorously attempt to build an indigenous capitalist class.
Also, unlike the experiences of the 20th century developmental States elsewhere, industrialization in Africa in the 21st century will have to be sensitive to environmental sustainability (chapter 3). The development of renewable energy and a green economy as part of Africa’s overall development strategy cannot be over-emphasized. Renewable energy in particular and the green economy in general offer Africa a basis for transforming the structures of its economies and to create sustainable jobs and livelihoods.
The industrial strategy of the developmental States of East Asia suggests that creating industrial winners through fiscal incentives to facilitate enhanced productivity and some form of protectionism were critical for the growth of local manufacturing. While protectionism may be difficult and largely unfashionable in a globalized economy regulated by WTO, nonetheless, as part of their industrial policy, African States should ensure a phasing-out process to protect local industries, which is necessary for their growth and consolidation. This will enable them to compete, over time, in the global economy.
http://www.uneca.org/era2011

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WTO: Trade likely to grow by 13.5 per cent in 2010

Following faster than expected recovery in global trade flows so far in 2010, WTO economists have revised their projection for world trade growth in 2010 upwards to 13.5 per cent. The WTO’s March forecast was a 10 per cent expansion in trade volumes. This would be the fastest year-on-year expansion of trade ever recorded in a data series going back to 1950. But such a large growth rate should be understood in the context of a severely depressed level of trade in 2009, when world exports plunged by 12.2 per cent. http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres10_e/pr616_e.htm

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New information on Aid for Trade from the EC

The European Commission has published a new document on Aid for Trade. This publication provides a clearer picture of this development assistance strategy. It examines the broad scope of Aid for Trade, explains the key types of Aid for Trade under the themes of ‘‘narrow” Aid for Trade (Trade Related Assistance) and ‘‘Wider” Aid for Trade, emphasizes EU’s strong commitment to Aid for Trade agenda and provides information on EU’s Aid for Trade activities in Africa. http://europafrica.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/memo-09-150_en.pdf

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Report shows EU imports from developing countries growing

The European Commission has presented to the European Parliament its regular report on the openness of the European market to imports from developing countries. The report sets out how the EU has continued in 2007 to use its trade policy to advance a pro-development agenda and analyses the relevant data for which the most recent available is for the period up to the end of 2006. The report shows that the EU continues to offer market access for developing country exports that is unmatched by any other major economy. EU imports from developing countries rose 16% in 2006 from 2005 and by 14% if imports from China are excluded. According to the WTO, overall global merchandise trade grew by around 8% over the same period.

The report also assesses EU measures to help developing countries integrate further into the global economy by developing their capacity to trade. The EU’s Aid for Trade strategy of October 2007, jointly agreed by the Commission and EU Member States, provides a strong basis for implementation of Aid for Trade in their respective development assistance activities. It argues that both the Doha WTO trade talks and the ongoing negotiations for comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements and other bilateral and regional agreements have considerable potential for increasing imports and economic diversification in the developing world. http://ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/global/development/pr220408_en.htm

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Discussion Forum: Which factors are necessary to the achievement of a positive relationship between Trade and Sustainable Development?

”Trade liberalization and sustainable development are not unavoidably incompatible. Trade liberalization can advance sustainable development goals, just as it can retard their achievement. The same can be said for foreign direct investment. Appropriate investment can spur sustainable development, but much investment in developing countries has been environmentally, socially and often economically questionable.” (IISD Statement on Trade and SD). Please share your comments about this statement at http://tinyurl.com/2pvlhv You will need to be logged-in at dgCommunities to contribute.

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DISCUSSION FORUM on Trade and Sustainable Development

Which factors are necessary to the achievement of a positive relationship between Trade and Sustainable Development?
”Trade liberalization and sustainable development are not unavoidably incompatible. Trade liberalization can advance sustainable development goals, just as it can retard their achievement. The same can be said for foreign direct investment. Appropriate investment can spur sustainable development, but much investment in developing countries has been environmentally, socially and often economically questionable.” (IISD Statement on Trade and SD). You will need to be logged-in to the Development Gateway to contribute. http://tinyurl.com/2pvlhv