World Trade Organization’s Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade

2 July 2015

Heads of various international agencies agreed during the Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade, held in Geneva, Switzerland on 30 June 2015 that reducing trade costs through initiatives such as World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will help poor countries reap benefits of the global trading system. The Fifth Global Review examines actions taken to reduce trade costs so that developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) can participate more effectively in global trade. 

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo emphasized that trade costs matter — neglecting this adversely impacts connectivity. World Bank President Jim Kim cited examples of countries effectively integrated into regional and global markets where the poorest citizens reap substantial trade benefits. Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao also affirmed Aid for Trade’s role in addressing high trade costs and supporting trade facilitation that promotes trade-led inclusive growth. 

WTO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also launched a joint report during the Fifth Global Review highlighting the importance in reducing trade costs, thus allowing developing countries and LDCs to benefit from market opportunities in the multilateral trading system. Cumbersome border procedures, poor infrastructure, lack of access to trade finance, and complex standards are some of the factors that price many countries out of international markets. The TFA creates an opportunity to reduce trade costs and enhance participation in global value chains.  

More than 1,000 participants from around the world attended the Fifth Global Review, which lasted until 2 July 2015.  

 

Related Links:

Panel Remarks at the 5th WTO Global Review on Aid for Trade – Takehiko Nakao
“Clear and immediate actions within reach” to reduce trade costs
Agency heads cite importance of reducing trade costs to support growth and development

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