Geneva | Switzerland | 11 July 2017
The Global Review 2017 of Aid4Trade of the World Trade Organization was successfully concluded by addressing a great number of trade-related opportunities and limitations such as standards, trade facilitation and intra-continental trade, particularly in Africa. What this year’s review unique was the successful balance between trade promotion through enhanced digital connectivity and social and economic inclusiveness. Present stakeholders agreed on the need to address overarching development priorities through trade like poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods of low-income households and least developed countries’ access to markets.
The review - entitled “Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development” – offered an interesting debate on digital connectivity with politicians and international experts calling for enhanced efforts to get more than 1 out 4 African citizens connected. A Vodafone representative outlined, however, that such numbers are a spectacular success and that the digital market in Africa is growing at a very high speed. Interesting to note that the investments of Aid4Trade into digital infrastructure decreased from 3% to 1% per annum despite a rapid investment growth of Aid4Trade totalling now over 300 billion USD over the past 11 years. The joint publication Aid-for-Trade at a Glance of OECD and WTO gives excellent insights of the last 2 years of implementation.