Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD-DAC)

Aid to build trade capacity (DACNews Nov-Dec 2005)


Donor assistance to trade capacity building in developing countries has increased by 50%.

Bilateral donors and multilateral agencies have become much more active in aid-for-trade activities over the last few years.

  • Aid for trade policy and regulations — to help countries reform and prepare for closer integration in the multilateral trading system — rose from USD 0.65 billion in 2001-02 and to USD 0.85 billion in 2003-04
  • Aid for trade development — to help enterprises to trade and create a favourable business climate — moved up from USD 1.3 billion to an average of USD 2.1 billion over the same period
  • Within aid for trade development, support increased most significantly for e-commerce, trade finance and for market development in industry and agriculture sectors
  • Least Developed Countries (LDCs) represented 16% of total commitments for support to trade policy and regulations and 20% for support to trade development
  • Contributions to the international trade-related Trust Funds (e.g. Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme, Integrated Framework Trust Fund, the International Trade Centre and the WTO) increased from USD 26 million in 2001 to USD 45 million in 2003 and remained stable at that level in 2004
  • In addition, donors committed US$9.3 billion to support economic infrastructure - transport, energy and telecommunications - which is essential for international trade
  • In 2003, the share of trade related technical assistance and capacity building accounted for 4.4% of total aid committments, while infrastructure support represented 25% of total aid commitments.