Scaling up aid for trade: How to support poor countries to trade their way out of poverty
Trade can be an engine for growth that lifts millions of people out of poverty, but many developing countries face constraints that prevent them from participating in the global trading system. Even if trade rules are radically reformed and a pro-development round is achieved at the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong in December 2005, current 'behind the borders' problems mean that poor countries will continue to lose out on the potential benefits of global trade.
Aid to address these constraints was a key promise of the Uruguay and Doha Rounds, but donor efforts to date have been wholly inadequate. More money to help countries strengthen their ability to trade is urgently needed. Oxfam believes this assistance must be recipient-driven, additional to existing development aid, free of economic conditions, adequate, predictable and complementary to - rather than a substitute for - better and fairer trade rules.
However, the current World Bank/IMF proposal will not meet these criteria, and instead could be used to coerce countries to liberalize their trade regimes. Therefore Oxfam believes the proposal for an enhanced Integrated Framework needs considerable reform if it is to deliver real aid for trade.