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Introduction

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t the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Hong Kong in December 2005, Ministers launched the Aid for Trade Initiative (AFT). AFT refers to the flow of development finance from developed to developing countries for the purpose of enhancing their participation in the world trading system. AFT covers traderelated capacity building to help countries formulate, negotiate and implement trade policies and related agreements and trade development, including export promotion and trade finance. It also covers support to strengthening trade-related infrastructure and other supply-side capacities and trade-related adjustment programs. In Latin America and the Caribbean trade accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP in all but five countries, and for more than 100 percent of GDP in smaller Central American and Caribbean countries. Past experience has shown that complementary policies are needed to maximize the benefits of trade reform. In addition, as the scope of global trade integration broadens, a comprehensive strategy that seeks to make trade work for the majority of the population, particularly the poor, is ever more urgent. The momentum created so far in the AFT is truly a unique opportunity to work together. Construct consensus, and administer wisely the current prosperity—which is to a large extent a product of the recent growth of global trade—is not only a moral necessity, but also the best long term business for our region. On November 13 and 14th, 2007, the IDB and the WTO organized with the collaboration of the World Bank the meeting “Mobilizing Aid for Trade: Focus Latin America and the Caribbean”. This conference hosted by the Government of Peru brought together for the first time, finance and trade ministers, senior donor representatives, regional institutions and key private-sector actors. Objectives of the meeting included underlining the central importance of trade for national development strategies, promoting exchange of information about best practices and identifying the main capacity constraints to export growth. It was also designed to encourage governments, donors and the private sector to address specific challenges, prioritize needs, and move towards shared solutions with emphasis on regional programs. It was an opportunity to highlight the need for increased and effective financing and coordination among countries and donors. Alongside with the main ministerial event, three parallel meetings were organized to highlighted specific dimensions of AFT: a Workshop on Private Sector and the Aid for Trade Initiative (organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the IDB); a Workshop on the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) (organized by the WTO and the IDB);

mobilizing aid for trade: focus on latin america and the caribbean: proceedings of the regional r...  

this report was prepared by the integration and trade sector (int) as a contribution to the regional meeting on mobilizing aid for trade: la...