The governments of Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan and Sweden plan to commit approximately USD 13 million to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) to help improve the trading capabilities of least-developed countries (LDCs) and to reduce poverty levels. The donation was announced at a special event commemorating ten years of EIF achievements on 3 July during the Aid for Trade Global Review 2019 at the WTO.
The new investment is intended to increase LDCs’ share of global trade, which currently stands at less than 1 per cent, and to help them deal with the impact of current uncertainty in the global trading environment. This is particularly important as the latest forecasts from the WTO point to a slowdown in trade growth.
This donation will help the EIF address LDC trade constraints through evidence-based research and the development of sectoral strategies aimed at economic diversification and the coordination of work on the ground.
The EIF brings together partners (51 countries, 24 donors and eight partner agencies) and resources to provide financial and technical support to LDCs, using trade to support poverty reduction, inclusive growth and sustainable development. Through the Aid for Trade initiative in particular, the EIF works directly with LDC governments to mobilize resources to build trade capacity and infrastructure.
Director- General Roberto Azevêdo said: “This is a significant show of support. We need to keep up this momentum. It can really make a difference. I think we need more Aid for Trade. We need more EIF. And we need to keep demanding more results. So I want to take this opportunity to underscore, once again, the WTO’s support for the EIF and our commitment to working collectively, with you all, in the interests of the LDCs.” His opening remarks are available here.
The Gambia Vice President, Isatou Touray, who attended the Geneva event, said: “Aid for Trade support to The Gambia has seen positive results and is helping the diversification of our agriculture exports to new international markets for our goods. The Gambia is pleased to be an EIF partner in this effort and to see donor countries recognizing what has worked for LDCs and where there is more work to be done. The essential goal of this initiative is to eventually lift people out of poverty.”
The EIF Executive Director, Ratnakar Adhikari, said: “This funding from our donors will do so much to help LDCs as they work within a challenging and shifting global trade environment. For 10 years, EIF has been working with LDC governments, and we have seen success from Chad to Bhutan to the Solomon Islands. But more effort is needed, and we hope others will join us in putting LDCs in the driver’s seat of inclusive development.”
EIF works across continents and has already helped 41 countries integrate trade into their national development plans, while supporting over 1,300 micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises and over 35,000 women entrepreneurs. EIF’s unique partnership is designed to have maximum impact and works as a catalyst for ensuring that support to LDCs extends far and wide.
Further information on the EIF is available here.
Further information about the Aid for Trade Global Review is available here.