Connect with us

Business

These are the lessons we can learn for the future of Aid-for-Trade

We know that Aid-for-Trade plays a vital role in ensuring that the gains from more and cheaper cross-border trade reach everyone, everywhere.

Avatar

Published

on

This week, myself and colleagues from the World Bank Group will participate in the World Trade Organization’s Sixth Global Review of Aid-for-Trade.

Loading...

The bi-annual meetings, held at WTO headquarters in Geneva, bring together trade ministers, civil society, international development institutions and the private sector to monitor progress made toward connecting developing countries to the global trade system. The meetings are also an opportunity to mobilize resources that help countries address trade-related constraints.

The theme for this year’s review: “Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development”.

As the largest multilateral provider of Aid-for-Trade, the World Bank Group supports countries through a number of initiatives that promote connectivity and inclusiveness, including our Trade Facilitation Support Program.

The Program directly supports concrete trade facilitation reforms in 34 countries and leverages additional financing from donors and other partners.

We know that Aid-for-Trade plays a vital role in ensuring that the gains from more and cheaper cross-border trade reach everyone, everywhere.

But, as we look back over the 10 years since the first global review of Aid-for-Trade, it is important to take stock of the lessons we’ve learned and to identify some priorities for the future. Here are the five key areas of focus as I see them:

1. Infrastructure connectivity matters. Better roads and rail, upgraded ports and airports, and investments in ICT infrastructure are all essential for boosting trade.

But, there’s a growing awareness that the infrastructure deficit in developing countries is well beyond what can be met through traditional channels of development finance. Those of us engaged in helping countries finance trade must ensure that every dollar goes further and that we use our resources as effectively as possible to crowd in private financing. It also means intensifying our support to improve the investment climate in developing countries to lower the risks faced by private investors.

2. Policy, regulation and institutions matter. We can only make the most of improved physical connectivity if we also improve the “soft infrastructure” of trade through reforms to streamline trade; promote competition; improve transparency and enhance the quality of policy design and of those implementing it.

Trade facilitation, which has been one of the fastest-growing areas of Aid-for-Trade in recent years, offers a prime example of how novel trade rules can be a powerful anchor to mobilize resources for development.

In Cambodia, for instance, where the Bank Group has been involved in a more than 10-year partnership, trade facilitation reforms to improve transparency and strengthen coordination among border agencies have helped cut border clearance times from six days to 1.4 days over just a few years. This has led to Cambodia’s growing export competitiveness in manufacturing, especially in the garment sector, where 85% of the workforce is female.

3. Upgrading competitiveness matters. This encompasses a range of “behind the border” policy areas like innovation and entrepreneurship; or skills and education. Although we don’t always think of these areas as “Aid-for-Trade”, investing in them is essential for boosting productivity, promoting gender equality and ensuring that businesses can take advantage of the opportunities presented by openness.

4. Rules matter. The multilateral system underpinned by the WTO provides a critically important global public good in the form of a predictable, rules-based, environment so that cross-border commerce can thrive.

A lack of stability and rules would significantly undermine efforts to protect the weakest and the most vulnerable. Such efforts must be directed at developing rules that address the constantly evolving new dimensions of trade and investment while also tackling long-standing distortions in areas like agriculture.

5. Managing the process of adjustment matters. Trade and investment liberalization often entail adverse distributional consequences, with some in developing and developed countries feeling “left behind”.

If left unaddressed, these costs can sap public support for policies of openness. Trade-related adjustment assistance has been a very small part of overall…

Source link

Comments

Business

Thailand Approves Latest Economic Relief Package for Businesses

Some 250 billion baht (US$8 billion) was allocated for soft loans while the remaining 100 billion baht (US$3.2 billion) will go towards an ‘asset warehousing’ program whereby debtors can use their assets as loan collateral but will have the right to redeem their assets under a specific time frame.

Avatar

Published

on

On March 23, 2021, Thailand’s government approved its latest economic relief package, valued at 350 billion baht (US$11.2 billion), to support businesses in the country.

Loading...
(more…)

Continue Reading

Business

Thailand BOI approves Biotech Projects Worth 2.4 Bln Baht ($78 million)

The biotechnology sector is part of the so-called BCG model (Bio, Circular and Green economy) which the Thai government has set as a priority to lead the post-Covid 19 recovery.

Avatar

Published

on

By

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) said today it has recently approved new projects in the field of advanced biotechnology, worth a combined 2.4 billion baht (around USD78 million) in investment, reflecting the increased interest of local and foreign investors in the country’s biotech sector.

Loading...
(more…)

Continue Reading

Business

Asia-Pacific sees 3.9% growth in deal activity in February 2021

Boris Sullivan

Published

on

Chair’s Statement on the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (IAMM)

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region saw a 3.9% month-on-month growth in deal activity (mergers & acquisitions, private equity and venture financing deals) from 1,126 deals to 1,170 deals in February 2021, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Loading...
(more…)

Continue Reading

Most Viewed

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13,973 other subscribers

Latest

Trending