Mobilizing Aid for Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean
reviews of donors, but there are two potential difficulties. First, the scope of donors’ trade-related assistance programs will depend on the level of priority donors give to trade in their overall assistance strategy. The proposal to evaluate each agency against its own objectives therefore risks accepting any limitations on their treatment of trade. Second, aggregating the results of the evaluations requires finding a way to assess performance against common criteria. To assess needs and evaluate outcomes in recipient countries, the OECD is planning simple questionnaires for recipients. Recipients will not find it easy to reply because they may lack a central record of all aid by purpose. Identifying which aid is for trade will require that several departments in each country apply consistent definitions. The Task Force proposed using the WTO’s Trade Policy Review mechanism, but for developing countries the review is too infrequent to provide regular monitoring. Recipients may need technical assistance to monitor aid-for-trade flows properly. Mechanisms to secure additional resources. The CRS will record existing resources, but there is no institutional mechanism to mobilize new funding. Under the Hong Kong mandate, the Director General was asked to “consult with Members, as well as with the IMF and World Bank, relevant international organizations and the regional development banks, with a view to reporting to the General Council on appropriate mechanisms to secure additional financial resources for aid for trade, where appropriate through grants and concessional loans.” He declared in his report to the General Council (WTO, 2006c) that the “key donors” would meet their Hong Kong commitments, but new mechanisms are still pending. Strengthening regional approaches. Despite the Task Force’s emphasis on the need for a regional approach to aid for trade, there have been no proposals on how to quantify or evaluate the aid for regions. There is an urgent need to create mechanisms for applying the definitions of aid for trade in regional organizations, collecting data on regional aid-for-trade projects, monitoring and evaluating such flows, securing additional resources for regional initiatives, and raising awareness, more generally, of the importance of regional approaches to aid for trade. The regional review meetings provide a good forum for addressing these issues on the aid-for-trade agenda. The 2007 Annual Report will present the first results of the three-step monitoring exercise (CRS, donor and recipient questionnaires), reports on the regional reviews, and a covering “synthesis” piece by the WTO. It will be important for LAC countries to ensure that: (i) the data give useful information on the types of support for trade-related infrastructure and supply capacity that are likely to be most relevant for them; (ii) there are good data and provisions for evaluating non-concessional support; (iii) the new mechanisms for monitoring recipients, whether by the OECD or the WTO, are robust; and (iv) analyzing aid for trade against the Hong Kong and Task Force objective “to help developing countries, particularly LDCs” does not neglect the special needs of middle-income countries facing adjustment without access to the types of aid available to LDCs.
Published on Sep 14, 2007
this report was prepared by the integration and trade sector (int) as a contribution to the regional meeting on mobilizing aid for trade: la...