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Regional Development Banks and Aid for Trade: An Opportunity to Help Developing Countries Benefit from Trade Liberalization

The Presidents of the Regional Development Banks of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean met on June 8th in Montreal, Canada. The meeting was attended by Mr.Compton Bourne, President of the Caribbean Development Bank; Mr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank; Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the Asian Development Bank and Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank. The Presidents discussed the role of their respective institutions in supporting the Aid for Trade initiative.

At the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in Hong Kong in December 2005, Ministers launched the Aid for Trade initiative and called for the establishment of a WTO Task Force to examine ways in which Aid for Trade could be made operational and contribute to the development dimension of the Doha Development Agenda.

Aid for Trade refers to the provision of trade-related capacity building, trade-related infrastructure, supply-side capacities and, more generally, facilitation of trade-related adjustment. The Regional Development Banks strongly support this initiative as Aid For Trade can provide significant opportunities for economic development and poverty reduction. It may also contribute to enhance the participation of developing countries in world trade, thereby strengthening the multilateral trading system.

The Presidents of the Regional Development Banks acknowledged the fruitful interaction with the WTO Aid for Trade Task Force. They also stressed their endeavor to strengthen inter-institutional coordination to effectively deliver Aid for Trade, in the spirit of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. To this end, they agreed to convene a technical follow-up meeting in July to explore mechanisms for coordinating the support to the Aid for Trade initiative.

The Presidents highlighted the role of trade as a powerful engine for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in least-developed and middle-income countries. They emphasized that regional integration and cooperation are central components of their member countries’ global integration efforts and overall development strategies.

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