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The Aid for Trade Global Review 2017

The Aid for Trade Global Review 2017 on ‘Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity For Sustainable Development’ was held at the World Trade Organization in Geneva from 11 to 13 July 2017.

July 31, 2017

Underpinning the Global Review is a monitoring and evaluation exercise aimed at surveying Aid-for-Trade priorities and how these have changed; the status of Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation and support; engagement in, and support to, the development of e-commerce; and infrastructure investment, the development of related services markets and related investment climate reforms. One cross-cutting theme that was examined was women's economic empowerment.

The Review is influential in galvanising support and directing strategies to help developing countries derive the maximum development benefit from trade.

The EU-ACP TradeCom II Programme, CTA and the EU-ACP Liaison Committee jointly organised an EU-ACP side-event - The Inclusiveness and Connectivity Dimensions of EU-ACP Trade and Development Cooperation – on how to bolster inclusiveness and connectivity dimensions of EU-ACP trade and development cooperation, and translating the 'EU External Investment Plan' and 'Digital4Development' agendas into sound policy and modalities for effective implementation of the Aid-for-Trade commitments.

Contributions were shared from Viwanou Gnassonou, Assistant Secretary General -Sustainable Economic Development and Trade, ACP Group, Catherine Krobo-Edusei, CEO of Eden Tree in Ghana, Mrs. Jane Ngige, CEO of Kenya Flower Council, Tadeous Tafirenyika Chifamba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Head of the Mission of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the European Union, Co-President of ACP-EC Trade & Commodities Sub-Committee, and Axel Pougin De La Maisonneuve, Deputy Head of Unit, Private Sector and Trade, European Commission's Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), who shared the good practices and lessons learned from EU-ACP cooperation modalities on trade inclusiveness and connectivity and the main drivers of the future of EU-ACP aid for trade interventions.

It was recognised that the structured EU-ACP trade and development cooperation arrangements have contributed to trade growth and development in partner countries, by:

  • enhancing the productivity agenda for industrialisation, trade expansion, diversification, and effective integration into the global economy;
  • addressing effectively the key determinants of trade competitiveness and connectivity;
  • promoting macro-economic policies for inclusive growth, value addition and trade expansion;
  • harnessing the blue economy.

ACP countries' greater integration into the EU and the global economy remains one of the key objectives. This will provide greater impetus to the ACP's sustained export expansion, effective penetration into the regional and global value chains, sustainable development, and effective negotiation of multilateral and regional trade agreements, and implementation of these agreements for their benefit.

The update of the EU Aid-for-Trade Strategy aims precisely at enhancing the effectiveness and impact of Aid-for-Trade by linking it to investment and trade drivers such as the External Investment Plan and new Free Trade Agreements, and by addressing new realities of international trade.

Going forward, political commitment will be required to translate these trade and cooperation agendas into sound policy and modalities for effective implementation of the Aid-for-Trade commitments and a greater role for the private sector. As the ACP-EU partnerships demonstrate the huge gains attainable, ACP countries would, with the continued structured partnership with the EU, endeavour to accelerate the pace of integration into the regional and global economies.