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Aid for trade: One year on. How much, for whom and the institutional challenges?

Time (GMT +01) 09:00 16:00


Dirk Willem te Velde, Research Fellow, ODI
Susan Prowse, UK Department for International Development
Don Stephenson, Ambassador of Canada to the WTO, Chair of EIF Task Force and member of the A4T Task Force
Sheila Page, Senior Research Associate, ODI

Alistair Nolan, OECD
Esperanza Durán, Executive Director, Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation
Gideon Rabinowitz, Consumer Unity & Trust Society, London Resource Centre
Ganeshan Wignaraja, Senior Economist Asian Development Bank
Carolyn Robert, International Trade and Investment Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank
L. Ghoorah, Senior Economist, Government of Mauritius
Lalith Goonatilake, Director, Trade Capacity Building Branch, UNIDO
Martin Summers, International Social Accountability Manager, BAT / Business Action for Africa
Yusuf Dodia, Chairperson of the Private Sector Development Association in Zambia

Mark Pearson


The Aid for Trade Task Force reported in mid-2006. What has happened since? Has Aid for Trade been operationalised? Does it meet the needs of trade? What aspects of aid programmes need revision? What lessons should we learn from previous experience?

In June 2006, ODI brought together the people who shaped the Aid for Trade proposals. Last month, ODI invited leading players on Aid for Trade to ask what has been done and if the high expectations are being met. An accompanying ODI Briefing Paper will be written which will set out the key issues.

The purpose of the conference was to take stock of the various initiatives that are “operationalising” Aid for Trade including:

  • The WTO has been tasked to mobilise, monitor, and evaluate Aid for Trade;
  • The Enhanced Integrated Framework for LDCs hopes to receive new pledges by end of May;
  • The EU’s Draft EU Aid for Trade strategy is open for discussion.

Are these initiatives meeting the aspirations set by the Aid for Trade debates?

  • Commitments on Aid for Trade have increased, but is more Aid for Trade actually forthcoming for those countries that need it most?
  • Aid for Trade has been defined to be broader than trade policy capacity building and to include (trade related) infrastructure. Has this been defined satisfactorily?
  • Are infrastructure needs being covered for all continents under the Aid for Trade debate?
  • Ultimately, the private sector is the eventual beneficiary of Aid for Trade, but has it been involved?
  • Are the possible links to the private sector and other institutions which may also help provide finance (non-ODA) to trade, being exploited?
  • Have countries begun to plan Aid for Trade strategies and enhanced the importance of Aid for Trade in development programmes?
  • Are the regional Aid for Trade challenges being met?
  • And finally, are the right international and national institutions involved in the right activities with the right emphasis?

We are grateful to the Department for International Development for sponsoring this meeting.