Trade and development
New Australian initiative
In the context of the 8th WTO's Ministerial Conference on 15 to 17 December 2011, Australia announced a $16 million aid for trade package to help developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to benefit in key areas such as trade development, trade policy and building productive capacity. This contribution includes $2 million given to the WTO Global Trust Fund (GTF) in 2011-12 and is in addition to Australia's contribution of $2 million to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) in July 2011.
The funding comprises multi-year support for the WTO Global Trust Fund, WTO GTF ($8 million), the EIF ($3 million) and the International Trade Centre, ITC ($3 million), as well as a contribution to the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO ($2 million). Australia's contributions will be made over the period 2012 to 2015.
Australia is already a leading donor to the WTO GTF. Australia's continued support will finance WTO technical assistance activities targeted especially at the needs of developing and LDCs, as well as economies in transition. The aim is to enhance their ability to participate effectively in WTO negotiations and ensure they benefit fully from the results achieved during these negotiations. To date, 30,000 developing country officials have been trained under the WTO's technical assistance programs.
Australia strongly supports the trade capacity building work of the EIF, a program which supports sustainable trade and development outcomes for LDCs thereby helping them integrate into the global trading system. The EIF's work includes programs in Australia's Asia Pacific partner countries to help identify and address constraints to trade. The EIF has a proven track record of helping LDCs to increase their capacity to trade with positive development outcomes, including increased jobs and incomes. Australia joined the EIF as a donor in 2011 with its initial $2 million contribution.
For the first time, Australia is contributing to the ITC which assists small businesses in developing countries to connect to markets. The ITC engages directly with the private sector to increase their capacity to export, and also works with governments to increase public-private sector collaboration on trade policy. In 2010, the ITC assisted 425 small businesses to develop new strategies, become export ready or reach new markets.
Australia's WIPO contribution is for projects to help developing countries and LDCs build capacity in the field of intellectual property and ensure they are in a position to actively participate in the benefits of innovation and the knowledge economy.
Aid for trade
Aid for trade or trade-related development assistance helps developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) to increase exports of goods and services, to integrate more effectively into the multilateral trading system and to benefit from liberalized trade and increased market access opportunities.
Australia's provision of aid for trade reflects the Government's view that a strong multilateral trading system is essential for economic stability and global prosperity. The Australian Government remains committed to increasing official development assistance (ODA) to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) by 2016-17. Australia's significant aid for trade efforts have been recognised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in their Aid for Trade at a Glance: 2011 - Showing Results.