Aid for trade
EU largest provider to poorest countries - report
By Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt | Monday 09 July 2012
Despite the economic crisis, the EU and its member states remain the largest providers of aid for trade in the world, according to a new report published by the European Commission. The 2012 monitoring report, published on 9 July, showed that the EU had accounted for around a third of worldwide aid for trade in 2010, totalling €10.7 billion committed, and made up 60% of global trade-related assistance (TRA) commitments.
The EU’s aid for trade strategy consists of financial assistance provided to developing countries in order to help them develop their capacity to trade. It can include help in infrastructure building, training and technical cooperation or adjusting legislation on trade to meet European standards. In its 2007 joint strategy on aid for trade, the EU made the commitment to increase its collective annual spending on TRA (one element of the aid for trade budget) to €2 billion every year by 2010. According to the Commission’s 9 July report, the EU has met its target, with TRA reaching €2.6 billion in 2010.
“Aid for trade empowers operators in developing countries to boost their trade to the EU, making the best of the EU’s generous tariff preferences,” Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht explained, reiterating that the EU “will continue to help the developing countries most in need to make the most of open markets and to reduce poverty”.
As part of his strategy to link trade to development, De Gucht proposed, in May 2011, to reform the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), taking high and upper-middle income countries out of the scheme and focusing tariff preferences on countries most in need.