Looking Ahead: Mobilizing Aid for Trade in LAC
with much smaller national processes to identify needs and a clearer link between needs and assistance.18 Extending donor coordination to the regional level. The only regular forum to consider regional or other non-country level aid will be the Annual WTO General Council discussion of aid for trade. This, however, will bring together national trade representatives, not officers of aid agencies and finance ministries, and will be too broad for the detailed “matching” suggested by the Task Force. The regional meetings in 2007, including the LAC meeting in Lima, bring together the right agencies for such matching—including donors, recipients, regional and multilateral agencies, and the private sector. In 2007, it is too early for projects to have been identified and to have failed to find a donor, but such meetings might serve the purpose for regional projects in the future. If they prove effective, LAC countries could consider similar processes at the national level, rather than the more elaborate trade committee and donor group structures that operate in LDCs. Encouraging recipients to lead donor coordination efforts. Donors have important responsibilities in harmonizing their activities, but such efforts can be strengthened if recipients lead them. Some regional agencies in LAC (including the Caribbean-based CRNM) have assumed a role in donor coordination, holding regular meetings with donors to report on the agency’s activities, discuss implementation issues and highlight needs. They have also made suggestions about what kind of reporting might satisfy donors while not imposing an undue burden on the agency. Donors have welcomed these efforts, and have found that they improve the overall management of assistance—particularly when donors are not physically present in the field and find it difficult to undertake long-distance coordination in the absence of a recipient agency that encourages such coordination. 3.10. A Joint Action Agenda on Aid for Trade As shown above, the aid-for-trade agenda is comprehensive, and not all pending issues can be resolved in the short term. To advance the initiative, donors and recipients in LAC may have to focus on a few of the above questions before tackling the remaining agenda, and the wider WTO membership may have to recognize that aid-for-trade priorities may vary by recipient region. 18
In 1998, the WTO, UNCTAD, and ITC reorganized a set of individual projects for eight African countries into a joint program ( JITAP) with a Common Trust Fund to mobilize donor support. JITAP has since then been extended to another 10 African countries. It has a much more specific objective than the IF, to build the countries’ capacity to participate in trade negotiations, WTO implementation, and trade policy formulation, and to build the supply capacity and market knowledge of exporting and export-ready enterprises in order to benefit from trade liberalization. None of the organizations involved has country offices so it is coordinated by national committees, with a national ‘technical counterpart’, usually the trade department in a ministry. Using a network of trainers, it provides projects, not just diagnosis, in its designated subjects. For the private sector, it provides information points and market information, and for both public and private sectors, it provides training in trade policy and in marketing and business skills. It thus has direct experience of trade capacity building projects and of working with the private sector, two elements of the aid-for-trade initiative.
Published on Sep 14, 2007
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...