Story: ITC at Aid-for-Trade Stocktaking (en)

17 février 2021
ITC Nouvelles
The World Trade Organization (WTO) brings the International Trade Centre (ITC) and partners together to explore COVID-19 relief solutions for small businesses.

The 2021 Aid-for-Trade Stocktaking Event, led by the WTO, will take place virtually from 23 to 25 March 2021. Member states, international organizations, businesses and other stakeholders will discuss developing and least developed countries' trade needs arising from COVID-19, and seek to mobilize financing for a continued and sustained response that supports recovery and resilience.

ITC, with its partners, will bring the voice and needs of small businesses to the discussion and explore solutions that could contribute to an inclusive and green recovery.

According to the results of ITC’s COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, which reached over 6,000 companies in 130 countries, more than 40% of these small businesses are at risk of permanent closure in 2021. The demand for Aid for Trade and for ITC’s assistance continues to rise.

In 2020, despite the pandemic, ITC delivered more than $92 million in Aid for Trade. This year, with lessons learned from operating under extraordinary circumstances, ITC will continue supporting its core clients – small businesses – via existing and new initiatives.

During the March Stocktaking Event, ITC will co-host three thematic sessions and support a number of others to assess COVID-19’s trade impacts and make the case for additional finance mobilization to bolster recovery and resilience. They are:

  1. A new direction for Aid for Trade: Promoting an inclusive, green pandemic recovery (23 March 2021, 15:30-17:00)
    Canada, the European Union and ITC will host a panel discussion to explore innovative policies and practical solutions needed for building back better.
  2. COVID-19 recovery and Aid for Trade – opportunities for sustainable development and the transition to the circular economy (24 March 2021, 11:00-12:30)
    Finland, the Netherlands, Kenya, ITC, the African Development Bank, the Institute for European Environmental Policy, and the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA will host a panel discussion to explore interlinkages between Aid for Trade, sustainable recovery and the circular economy.
  3. Trade intelligence for an inclusive recovery (25 March 2021, 11:00-12:30)
    Switzerland, with ITC’s support, will host a panel discussion to explore key resources for firms, especially small businesses in developing countries, for identifying emerging opportunities.
  4. Implementing the AfCFTA: The need for deepening private sector engagement and commitment (24 March 2021, 11:00-12:30)
    The African Development Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and ITC will host a session on measures to promote the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) among the private sector, suitable trade policies and regulations to make the AfCFTA work for the African business community, and steps to increase intra-African trade.
Activities under Aid for Trade are carried out based on biennial work programmes. These work programmes promote deeper coherence among Aid for Trade partners and the trade and development community, with the emphasis on showing results.

For the full programme of the 2021 Aid-for-Trade Stocktaking Event, including sessions with ITC participation on digital solutions and finance responses to the pandemic, please visit here.