The discussions around Aid for Trade (AfT) have tended to treat beneficiaries as a fairly homogeneous group of developing countries. However, and quite obviously, groups of recipient countries differ according to a variety of factors and needs, which are important to acknowledge in devising any AfT strategy. This issue of Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics focuses on a specific group of developing countries – small and vulnerable economies (SVEs) – which has largely been neglected in the AfT debate, despite the special challenges these countries faced in their integration into the global economy. In this context, the objectives here are three-fold: highlighting the rationales for providing AfT to SVEs; examining the past flows of AfT to these countries; and evaluating the effectiveness of this type of assistance to SVEs comparing it to other developing countries. Some policy suggestions to maximise the benefits of AfT for SVEs are also provided.
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