A new online portal has launched to provide a platform for the exchange of news, information and experiences on trade and development in least-developed countries (LDCs).
Launched last week by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Committee on Trade and Development’s Aid for Trade meeting, the Trade for Development News hub enables LDC governments and stakeholders to share their successes, challenges and strategies for enhancing LDC participation in global trade.
“Serving as a one-stop-shop for LDC-specific trade and development news is a great way to allow LDCs and their partners to share experiences,” says Sainabou Taal, trade policy analyst in the WTO development division. “This is an important milestone in enhancing the Aid for Trade initiative’s objectives on knowledge creation and sharing, and illustrating impact on the ground.”
The 47 countries classified as LDCs – 36 of whom are WTO members – are home to 13% of the global population, but account for only 1% of global trade. WTO agreements include provisions aimed at increasing LDCs’ trade opportunities and allowing LDCs flexibility in implementing WTO rules.
The WTO Ministerial Conferences held in Bali in 2013 and in Nairobi in 2015 adopted several decisions in favour of LDCs to assist their better integration into the multilateral trading system.
The new EIF portal already features stories on trade and development news in WTO member countries including Samoa, Vanuatu, Cambodia, Zambia, Senegal, the Gambia and Burkina Faso.
“We have an expansive agenda of partnership and we don’t want to confine ourselves but to engage in new and different ways,” adds Ratnakar Adhikari, executive director at the executive secretariat of the EIF. “That includes launching the Trade for Development News site to serve as a hub for information on LDCs, aid for trade and trade for development around the world in partnership with several organisations within the organic EIF structure as well as outside.”
The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) brings together partners and resources to support the LDCs in using trade to reduce poverty, as well as for inclusive growth and sustainable development. It is a global partnership between LDCs, donors and international agencies, underpinned by a multi-donor trust fund, which provides financial and technical support to build trade capacity in 47 LDCs and four recently graduated countries.
The WTO-led Aid for Trade initiative helps developing countries, and particularly least developed countries, trade. It encourages developing country governments and donors to recognise the role trade can play in development. In particular, the initiative seeks to mobilise resources to address the trade-related constraints identified by developing and LDCs.
Click here to access the Trade for Development News platform.