Latest Detail [ID: 87]

Free and fair - Germany's new strategy for Aid for Trade

Photo: BMZ Logo

Geneva | Switzerland | 11 July 2017
Trade and market access are appreciated as the ultimate engine for development inducing investments, for creating economic growth and jobs and for providing necessary goods and services. But market forces do not necessarily distribute wealth equally, leaving the poor often behind in economic growth and sustainable livelihoods.

The Global Review of Aid for Trade at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva this year focused discussions in plenary and in the many side events on Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity. Development goals such as SDG 1 and 2 on poverty and food security were high on the agenda and the debate on social safeguards in the trade regimes and participation of vulnerable groups like women and youth in markets and trade was detailed and strategic.

The new trade strategy

In this positive political environment, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has launched its new strategy Free and Fair Trade as a Driver for Development yesterday at the side event “Opening new Opportunities – Aid for Trade Donors’ Strategies towards SDGs 2030”. The primary objective of the strategy clearly connects with the development focus of BMZ to assist in creating “a pro-poor, equitable, inclusive and sustainable design of global trade based on human rights”. The strategy is firmly based on the Agenda 2030 and connects the fields of action of German Aid for Trade like regional economic integration and coherent trade policies, trade facilitation and quality infrastructure amongst others with many SDGs and their targets like SDG target 8.5 on job creation and SDG target 1.1 on poverty eradication next to SDG 17 on trade.

Opening new opportunities

Dominik Ziller, acting as Director General of the BMZ Department for International Development Policy underlined that the launch of this strategy was purposefully organised in Geneva at the Global Review of Aid for Trade to clearly show Germany’s political intention to join hands with all development actors in diversifying the aid for trade action agenda. In this regard, Dominik Ziller announced that Germany joined the Global Alliance on Trade Facilitation for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement of WTO adopted early this year. The new aid for trade strategy of Germany is equally meant to effectively contribute to the dynamics of the Compact with Africa announced as a G20 initiative under the presidency of Germany less than a week ago.

Daniela Zehentner-Capell, who heads the BMZ Division on trade-related development cooperation and who moderated the side event, echoed the aforementioned primary objective of the strategy by saying that there is a need to address the challenges of Least - Developed Countries (LDC) by tailor-made solutions which might differ profoundly from approaches to trade and market access in middle income countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands presented their programmatic and institutional integration of trade and development and the European Commission offered in-depth information on the EU Aid for Trade Strategy and programme. ECOWAS rounded up the debate by presenting the West African Trade Integration Programme (WATIP). The presentations recognised some interesting coherences and differences and there was a broad agreement for the need to follow up and strengthen the exchange on the issue.

To show the coherence between the strategy of BMZ and the requirements of Africa, Dominik Ziller stressed that the strategy for Aid for Trade is not only in line with the envisaged Compact with Africa, but also with the AU Agenda 2063 on Africa’s development aspirations. All in all, a very interesting side event and a strategy to study in more detail for the future BMZ programmes in support of the global trade agenda for sustainable development.



Go back