However, the global trade regime and the many regional trade agreements are not yet sufficiently focused on a broader development agenda as called Sustainable Development Goals and their targets.
The calls for enhanced trade for development come from developing countries like in the recent Malabo Declaration of African Heads of State, the 4th EU-Africa Summit Declaration of 2014 and many regional and bilateral trade agreements. Until recently, however, trade and ARD were a world apart. With the switch from aid dependency to independent trade for development, a common understanding of the changing roles of institutions and actors in donor countries, developing countries and regional/international institutions is needed. The theory of change underpinning this transformation is intellectually easy to understand in its basic parameters, but complicated in its implementation due to the many barriers like the lack of synergies between trade and ARD policies and institutional coherence as well as the engagement and support of the private sector of all sizes.
The role of enhanced trade in agricultural produce is a prerequisite for effective rural development, but joined approaches, strategies and programmes need yet to be defined beyond policy directives being given already by developing countries, international finance institutions and donors. The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development established its work stream “Trade and ARD” with the desirable outcome of effective donor contributions to synergetic interactions between ARD and trade policies for the broader Post-2015 development agenda in developing countries.