What donors, recipients and businesses want from aid for trade

By Lisa Cornish 06 January 2017

Tom Gormon, CEO of Brambles, speaking with guests at the the invitation-only “Trade Facilitation Reform: A Business and Government Partnership” conference held in Sydney on Dec. 13, 2016. Photo by: Ella Martin

Aid for trade is an increasingly important component of global aid programming. But for these programs to be successful, partners including donors, developing countries and the private sector need to collaborate and communicate with one another.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade brought these various players together at the Trade Facilitation Reform: A Business and Government Partnership conference in Sydney on Dec. 13-14. As the exclusive media representatives at the conference, Devex got an inside view of stakeholders’ priorities and perspectives on aid for trade. Here are the key takeaways from each community.

Developed countries and donors

For donors, aid for trade is a way to contribute to development while also building an international trading framework with the most vibrant emerging markets of tomorrow. However, the community is still grappling with how to balance traditional development goals with the sometimes more limited set of programming linked to trade.

Developed countries in attendance at the conference, including the Australia, Germany, United Kingdom and United States, expressed a national interest in aid for trade as a way to build flourishing economies and reduce reliance on aid. Multilateral donors including the World Bank and World Trade Organization are also directing more funds into aid for trade programs, including $7 billion from the World Bank for trade facilitation projects, two-thirds of which is directed to low-income economies.

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About the author

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Lisa Cornishlisa_cornish

Lisa Cornish is a Devex reporter based in Canberra, Australia. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.

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