Aid for Trade

22 February 2024 - Salamat Ali Brendan Vickers
• Although the services sector has emerged as a new engine of economic growth, the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have severely affected services exports from the least developed countries (LDCs), with an approximate loss of almost USD 29 billion in foregone exports over the past three years. • While global services exports have rebounded from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recovery in the LDCs is lagging, potentially with long-term consequences for achieving the ambitions of the Doha Programme of Action for the LDCs and several Sustainable Development Goals. • Urgent actions by the LDCs and their trading and development partners to improve utilization of the WTO Services Waiver, incentivize foreign direct investment (FDI) and technology transfer, promote regional trade initiatives, leverage Aid for Trade, and address the digital divide can help reverse this trend, enabling the LDCs to benefit from a services-led transformation.
15 February 2024 - Ratnakar Adhikari
The Doha Programme of Action for LDCs (least developed countries), adopted by UN member states in 2022, emphasizes that LDCs need assistance to help them graduate from their least-developed status and outlines a smooth transition plan. Some LDCs, however, are using their own proactive strategies to not only graduate from the LDC category but to do so on a solid footing that ensures a sustainable and irreversible graduation. Cambodia, which is projected to graduate from LDC status by 2027, is one such country. The country has even taken bold steps to expedite its transition to an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.
12 December 2023 - Farai Samhungu Peter Donelan
With support from the EIF, Zambia intensified its trade growth and diversification efforts directed at different levels to achieve systemic improvements. These were: first, on strengthening linkages to both the private sector and the Government around key products, such as honey; second, on building the institutional capacity of the Government and trade-related organizations, mainstreaming trade in the country’s development framework, and improving the trade regulatory environment; and third, exploring new markets for Zambian products.
10 October 2023 - Daniel K. Kalinaki
The NIU mechanism is a means to implement priorities identified by the governments through EIF support while functioning as a valuable public good that can be used by various partners active in the Aid for Trade (AfT) sphere.
3 August 2023 - Farai Samhungu Peter Donelan
The EIF support to Malawi began in 2012. The Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), sought to use the EIF partnership to unlock Malawi's latent trade potential through targeted support in three strategic areas: i) strengthening the capacity of the MTI to develop trade policies and strategies and to participate more effectively in the World Trade Organization and regional trade agreements; ii) addressing challenges faced by smallholder farmers to trade; and iii) supporting the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) to better promote exports and investments for the agro-industry, including working with the World Bank in establishing the groundwork for an agro-processing special economic zone.
1 August 2023 - Ratnakar Adhikari
Of the 46 least developed countries (LDCs), 16 are at different stages of graduation. And, though graduation offers many opportunities, it also presents its own unique challenges for countries in this category. As such, various international support measures (ISMs) have been put in place, or extended, to ensure smoother transitions and sustained developmental progress in the post-graduation phase.
8 November 2022 - Ratnakar Adhikari
While leveraging AFT to mobilize climate finance is an imperative for LDCs, this cannot be achieved without improved government-wide coordination, policy reforms to improve business environments, capacity building to attract and retain investment as well as contribution of resources and expertise to mobilize additional funding. Such an approach, while facilitating collective engagement to unleash the power of partnership, can make a difference to ensure that climate change adaptation and mitigation needs of LDCs are adequately funded.
9 August 2022 - Annette Ssemuwemba
Building evidence does not only happen through research and analysis; it also comes from sharing experiences. For example, EIF support has been directed to sectors in which women are predominantly engaged, so female-owned businesses can expand and access new regional and global markets. Responses to the M&E exercise indicate a wide recognition that these efforts result in strengthening women’s economic and financial independence.
2 August 2022
In 2022, WTO members have the opportunity to move forward on an aid for trade agenda that supports LDCs to tackle pressing challenges at the intersection of trade and sustainability. Given the massive trade-related challenges facing LDCs, the huge gap between needs and available support for a just transition to sustainable trade, and the urgency, scale, and impact of intersecting environmental crises in LDCs, mobilizing additional resources, investments, and partnerships is vital.
26 July 2022
Trade continues to play an important driving force not just of economic growth, but also poverty alleviation. Recognizing the role that trade can play in development, the WTO Aid-for-Trade Initiative seeks to mobilize resources to address trade-related constraints identified by developing and least-developed countries. But against the backdrop of multiple crises affecting the world economy, this task is challenging.
19 July 2022
Unlike in 2013, PPPs are today widely embraced as a vehicle to promote digital trade. Now, they need to be used in places where they have been scarcer, such as the LDCs.
12 July 2022
The Aid for Trade initiative could also become an important platform to encourage collaboration between donor and recipient countries on shared circular economy trade related opportunities and challenges going forward.
31 May 2022 - Inga Chilashvili
The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Vanuatu to the WTO talks graduation journey, Covid-19 and climate resilience, and how leaving the LDC category means the work as only just started.
How can LDCs be supported to improve their trade performance and sustainably raise their share of trade in the global economy?
26 October 2021 - Peter Donelan
With climate change on everyone’s mind ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), what are the key issues on the table for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs)?
12 October 2021 - Marie-France Boucher
Trade is key to sustainable development and growth. This knowledge can spur action from governments and businesses, but only if the word gets out.
5 October 2021 - Marlynne Hopper
More collaboration, studies needed to boost developing country agri-food exports Pesticides are a hot topic when it comes to the intersection of agriculture, trade and food security.
11 May 2021 - Deanna Ramsay
A pandemic. Development hurdles. Structural impediments. What is there for least developed countries in Africa to improve trade?
20 April 2021 - Helen Castell
Trade has a critical role to play in rebuilding developing and least developed countries’ economies, alleviating rising poverty and creating a greener, more inclusive future for all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted trade in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs) in a myriad of ways – from the complete collapse of tourism in some LDCs, to the rise of e-commerce opportunities in others. It’s also expected to impact donor country aid budgets for many years to come.
23 March 2021 - Ceyla Pazarbasioglu
COVID-19 is taking a toll on developing countries and their debt
17 March 2021 - Helen Castell
A year into Covid-19 being declared a global pandemic, this month’s Aid for Trade stocktaking event, organized by the Development Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO), offers a timely opportunity to assess impact on developing and least developed countries’ (LDC) trade needs, discuss how to make the recovery sustainable and mobilize financing where it is needed most.
In January 2020, the spread of an infectious disease appeared at the very bottom of the World Economic Forum’s top ten high-impact risks. A year later, it had risen to number one.
16 February 2021 - Désirée Van Gorp
Multinationals and governments need to recognize the trade world’s interconnectedness, and its impact
2 December 2020 - Jenny Larsen
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic kick in, hopes for better progress, at least in the short term, appear to be fading.
27 October 2020 - Marie-France Boucher
The Enhanced Integrated Framework explores the work of its National Implementation Units in fragile and conflict-affected countries and looks at the role the units play in integrating trade into the rebuilding of these countries.
14 October 2020 - Jenny Larsen
Originally published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization on 17 September 2020
In honor of former Enhanced Integrated Framework National Coordinator in Mali
18 August 2020
Biruktawit Begashaw started her own export company, Qine Trading, five years ago in Addis Ababa. Her business got a boost after attending Gulfood in Dubai, sponsored through Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Enhanced Integrated Framework.
18 August 2020 - Deanna Ramsay
For a new business owner, one international trade fair got things rolling
12 August 2020 - Michelle Kovacevic
In 2017, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Commerce secured US$50 million from the World Bank to address trade facilitation and export diversification issues.
3 August 2020 - Michelle Kovacevic
As LDCs grapple with ongoing economic fallout from COVID-19, EIF activities have yielded valuable insights for recovery.
26 May 2020 - Deanna Ramsay
New report dives into the details of shifting treatment, export markets and more
19 May 2020 - Daniel Gay
To get LDC graduation back on track, and to help other LDCs, reform of the international system of support must be fundamental and far-reaching.
How will graduation impact countries in South Asia and the trade support they benefit from? How can they prepare?
14 May 2020
Tewodros Yilma of Alpha Trading in Ethiopia discusses his business processing and exporting agricultural products, the role of trade fairs and his plans for the future.
14 May 2020 - Deanna Ramsay
Finding new buyers and tapping new markets, harnessing agriculture’s potential
Transforming the economies of least developed countries (LDCs) requires a nationally supported vision on how to tackle the binding constraints to higher value-added production.
21 February 2020 - Deanna Ramsay
EIF’s Steering Committee Chair talks donor priorities, laying the groundwork for investment in LDCs and more
28 January 2020 - Daniel Gay
For many, graduation from least developed country status is not the end of the story.
14 January 2020 - Daniel Gay
Following rapid progress, up to 12 LDCs may leave the category in coming years. The countries involved include up to a quarter of the total LDC population.
On 17 December 2019, the Government of Germany announced an additional commitment of EUR 1.3 million to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF).
4 December 2019 - Ana Luiza Cortez
Graduation from the least developed country (LDC) category, a milestone in a country’s development, is not free of controversies.
26 November 2019 - Deanna Ramsay
Deputy Director General in the Department of Planning and Cooperation at the Lao PDR Ministry of Industry and Commerce discusses harmonizing trade, regional integration and managing resources wisely
14 November 2019 - Rolf Traeger
Least developed countries (LDCs) have traditionally recorded persistent trade deficits.
23 September 2019 - Deanna Ramsay
On the sidelines of the Aid for Trade Global Review 2019, The Gambia’s Vice President discusses the potential of women in trade
In this issue: "Tentative steps to implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in least developed countries", "Economic diversification: Why trade matters", and "Fisheries subsidies negotiations: What is at stake for least developed countries?"
GENEVA – 3 JULY 2019 – The world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs) are home to more than one billion people. Yet, their collective share of global trade is less than one percent.
27 June 2019 - Anabel González
The current trading environment is inadequately supportive to contribute to growth, boost incomes, create jobs through new market access opportunities and reduce poverty.
27 June 2019 - Karl P. Sauvant
To help meet the investment needs of the future, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have to increase substantially.
Aid for trade can support women’s economic empowerment, which is key to sustainable development.
19 June 2019 - Dan Ciuriak Maria Ptashkina
The digital transformation provides developing economies new opportunities to leapfrog industrial age infrastructure, to draw on the vast knowledge spillovers from the internet, to take advantage of new markets offered by digital platforms and to exploit production possibilities enabled by digital technologies.
17 June 2019 - Luisa Bernal
The relative importance of trade and the degree of export concentration are higher than average in fragile least developed countries (LDCs).
Economic diversification and empowerment are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; they also embody the rationale behind the Aid for Trade Initiative.
11 June 2019 - David Luke Heini Suominen
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will transform the way Africa trades, with intra-African trade expected to increase by 15-25 per cent, and the boost to trade in industrial goods accelerating diversification of Africa’s economies.
Skills strategies can provide a bridging mechanism to enable disadvantaged groups such as youth and women to gain from international trade.
4 June 2019 - Ian Gillson Pierre Sauvé
Economic diversification is a key element of development in which a country moves to a more diverse production structure, scaling-up resilience to external shocks and providing a path for equitable growth.
Fisheries are a crucial source of animal protein, livelihoods and export earnings for many developing countries, including several least developed countries.
23 May 2019 - Fabrice Lehmann
Talking global value chains and trade integration, ahead of forthcoming World Bank report
21 May 2019 - Fabrice Lehmann
Agreement provides least developed countries with novel provisions, with consultation needs taking centre stage
16 May 2019
Examining Aid for Trade and LDCs, aiming for evidence-based action
14 May 2019 - Lisa Cornish
See what lies ahead at the biennial Aid for Trade event in July 2019
7 May 2019 - Lynsey Grosfield
The EIF Steering Committee Chair talks contemporary trade challenges and using resources the right way
8 March 2019 - Deanna Ramsay
Addressing trade in its many forms, EIF partnership creating sustainable impacts
20 February 2019 - Deanna Ramsay
Aligned with the Global Goals, plan has elevated efforts and new targets
20 February 2019 - Deanna Ramsay
EIF’s Deputy Executive Director discusses EIF’s just-launched Strategic Plan 2019-2022 and leaving no LDC behind
The results of the Enhanced Integrated Framework in 2017
A high-level panel at this year’s Public Forum examined the link between peace and trade, focusing on the opportunities and challenges that conflict-affected states face in developing their capacities to trade
26 October 2018 - Sainabou Taal
WTO’s Aid for Trade programme putting a spotlight on LDCs
Funding for aid for trade in LDCs is increasing – find out how much, from who, and where investments are going
The EIF will be participating in a variety of activities at the WTO Public Forum, 2-4 October
18 August 2018 - Deanna Ramsay
When agriculture and trade align, change happens for incomes and economies
10 August 2018
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo's welcome message to participants at the Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
10 August 2018 - Lisa Cornish
Improving economic opportunities and prospects for the world’s least developed countries remains a key global challenge
8 August 2018
EIF is the only multilateral partnership working to support trade for development in the world's poorest countries. Check out how we are doing this, on the ground, with our partners, together with governments, always for development, always for the Least Developed Countries.
The Forum, which was held from 13 to 14 June 2018 at the World Trade Organization (WTO), fostered practical solutions, offered results-oriented theoretical discussions, presented on-the-ground successes, and supported an innovative call to ramp up actions on inclusive trade for LDCs
23 July 2018
The closing ceremony echoed the Call to Action launched at the Forum, taking inclusive trade for LDCs to the next level
13 July 2018 - Ratnakar Adhikari
Often, the Pacific seems very far. With these new partnerships, we are cutting the distance to ensure that trade-led development brings tangible benefits to the people in the Pacific, including women and youth.
9 July 2018
This plenary session gathered ministerial-level officials from LDCs and high-level speakers to discuss the integration of LDCs into regional and global trading systems amid economic and political risk and uncertainty
5 July 2018
In the last two decades, there has been a boom in world trade driven by large reductions in trade barriers and unprecedented interlinkages among countries, and South-South trade has grown. Yet the world's poorest nations, designated Least Developed Countries (LDCs), engage in less than 1% of global trade while home to 13% of the world’s population
For the first time, an alliance of African countries have called for targeted action to strengthen the trade capacity of the world’s poorest countries and enhance their position in global and regional markets
3 July 2018 - ICTSD
Bridges Africa and Passerelles discussed trade and sustainable development with Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, Vice President of The Gambia, Kamrang Tekreth, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, and Hassan Come, Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Central African Republic (CAR)
Least Developed Countries are set to benefit from an agreement that unites the work of the Commonwealth and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to boost commerce
14 June 2018 - Deanna Ramsay
Their Call to Action affirms the role of trade as an engine for sustainable growth, reinforces the importance of the multilateral trading system and commits to inclusive trade policies
Call to Action - Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for LDCs from Enhanced Integrated Fra
6 June 2018 - Deanna Ramsay
At the WTO from 13-14 June, the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is convening its first Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with representatives from more than 40 of the 51 LDCs and recent graduates coming together to act on trade
5 June 2018 - Deanna Ramsay
Ahead of his departure from Geneva, Ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the WTO and EIF Steering Committee Chair Daniel Blockert speaks of key sectors for impact in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the importance of sustainable solutions
14 March 2018 - Anoush der Boghossian
Originally published in International Trade Forum
The world’s 47 poorest countries are home to 13% of the global population, but account for only 1% of global trade. With the launch of a new portal entitled Trade for Development News, the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is angling to provide a voice for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on their successes, challenges and ways forward in tackling a US$92.9 billion trade gap.
21 February 2018 - Sainabou Taal
The WTO's Trade Policy Review of The Gambia, taking place within the first year of the new administration, was an opportune time to reflect on the state of the economy and deliberate on the type of policies and actions that could help the country better participate in global trade
18 February 2018 - Deanna Ramsay
Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face obstacles to improving their trade capacity, but there are opportunities on the horizon
Download the first print edition of Trade for Development News!
19 January 2018 - Michelle Kovacevic
On 29 May 2012 Willie Luen was preparing to emcee one of the most important meetings of his life. He remembers that the room — a hotel conference room in Port Vila, the capital city of Vanuatu — was so packed with people that the windows were starting to fog up.
21 November 2017
Stakeholders from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) discuss the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) impact on trade and development in their respective countries.
Originally published on 7 July 2017 in the World Economic Forum Agenda
2 December 2016 - Sorasak Pan Ratnakar Adhikari
This blog was co-signed with Ratnakar Adhikari and originally published on Monday 24 October 2016 in the World Economic Forum Agenda
Originally published on 27 May 2016 in the World Economic Forum Agenda
In his opening remarks at the "Twenty years of supporting the integration of least developed countries into the multilateral trading system" event, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo reminded WTO members of the importance that the EIF Pledging Conference for Phase Two of the EIF be a success.
The Federal Republic of Somalia has become the 50th country to join the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the only Aid for Trade programme entirely dedicated to LDCs and recently graduated countries.