The Future of Aid for Trade: Challenges and Options
World Trade Review, Vol. 12(4) October 2013, pp. 653-668
Posted: 18 Apr 2013 Last revised: 5 Sep 2013
Date Written: April 16, 2013
The Aid for Trade Initiative needs to be revamped. This article describes the challenges the Initiative faces and describes the pros and cons of possible reforms. The Aid for Trade Initiative succeeded in mobilizing quickly a large amount of financial resources. However, because the Doha Round talks stalled, the aid mobilized could not support the implementation of a multilateral agreement. Instead, it was spent on various projects, some of them not clearly related to trade. This affected developing countries confidence in the Initiative. To make matters worse, in the midst of a fiscal crisis that threatens development budgets, the Initiative had difficulties showing convincing results. In order to preserve resource mobilization, the WTO is expanding the scope of the Initiative to new areas only remotely related to trade and the trade and development nexus. This is unlikely to build confidence. The WTO should rather narrow the scope of the Initiative in order to make it more focused and efficient.
Keywords: Aid for Trade, WTO, trade and development, trade and growth aid
JEL Classification: F13, F35, O19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation