Press releases

International leaders pledge to do more to support poorest countries to benefit from trade

10 July 2013
ITC News

The Heads of Agency of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) – Aid for Trade in action for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – met in Geneva on 8 July during the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade.
The Heads of Agencies recommitted to helping the world's poorest communities get more from global trading networks as the international community moves to a post-2015 development agenda. The event helped signal what needs to be done to make sure that LDCs can channel their exports and growth to reach for more than a 1.1% share of world trade.

This historic event was hosted by the Director-General of the WTO with keynote speakers, the Administrator of UNDP, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and the Under-Secretary General and High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, UNOHRLLS. The Chairs of the EIF Steering Committee and EIF Board also delivered remarks. High-level representatives from across Least Developed Countries, development partners and other partner agencies will participate.

Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO, said: ‘The last few years have laid strong foundations. The EIF has a global reach extending to 49 LDCs and recently graduated countries. Trade features in 90% of LDCs' national development plans. Supporting LDCs is a priority. We must show political support reaffirming our commitment and match leadership with investment in resources.’

Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP, said: ‘UNDP considers the EIF programme a key platform for channelling support to LDCs in delivering the Istanbul Programme of Action of LDCs. While a few countries have advanced, many others require support for mainstreaming trade and capacity development. UNDP looks forward to discussions with partners to design and define delivery modalities for customized support.’

Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, said: “UNCTAD believes that the success of EIF is the litmus test of the effectiveness of aid-for-trade. Therefore it is important to ensure that the EIF programme delivers both in terms of supply-capacity building and the mainstreaming of trade in the national development strategies of LDCs. In some ways, it is also a litmus test for the multilateral approach to supply-capacity building in developing countries through aid-for- trade assistance.”

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank, noted: ‘The EIF has allowed the Bank to respond to LDCs' trade-related needs in a coordinated manner, collaborating with multilateral agencies and donors working to address countries' most urgent needs. Trade remains an essential component of economic growth and poverty reduction strategies and I would like to reaffirm our commitment to the EIF partnership.’

Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, remarked: ‘Helping the Least Developed Countries take a more active part in global trade is critical for their growth and development. This (EIF Heads of Agencies meeting) is an important opportunity to take stock and see how all contributing partners, within our respective institutions’ mandate and expertise, can coordinate this support.’

Jean-Marie Paugam, Acting Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, said: ‘ITC is a 100% Aid for Trade agency and fully committed to the EIF. We are active in many LDCs with the EIF and ready to support each one of them in their project development for export promotion.’