Nobel prize-winning economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz will present a report proposing new ways of ensuring that international trade benefits developing countries at a Commonwealth meeting in Geneva on 26 June 2013.
The Right to Trade: Rethinking the Aid for Trade Agenda will be launched by the Commonwealth Secretariat to policymakers and trade negotiators and experts from across the globe meeting at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In the report authors Professor Stiglitz and Andrew Charlton argue that Aid for Trade has not delivered on its initial promise to help developing countries trade in the global arena. They propose a ‘Right to Trade’ mechanism to enable these countries to bring legal action to the WTO against advanced countries whose policies restrict their ability to trade.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: “The recently adopted Charter of the Commonwealth sets out our commitment to the freest possible flow of multilateral trade on terms fair and equitable to all. The Commonwealth Secretariat works with our member states to enhance their capacity to formulate effective trade policies and boost participation in regional and international trade negotiations.
“This report will further enrich our understanding of the effectiveness and impact of Aid for Trade in achieving sustainable development goals as we continue to help our most vulnerable member states secure Aid for Trade resources.”
Aid for Trade is about providing financial and technical assistance to developing countries to enhance their ability to produce and trade goods more efficiently and competitively.
In the report for the Commonwealth Secretariat, the authors also propose that rich countries dedicate Aid for Trade funds to a Global Trade Facility which would disburse these funds transparently.
The launch of the publication will come at the end of a two-day workshop looking at improving the integration of Commonwealth least developed and small and vulnerable economies in the multilateral trading system, and their ability to benefit from Aid for Trade resources.
The discussions will also assist countries in preparing for the forthcoming Global Review of Aid for Trade in Geneva in July and the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December.
Journalists are welcome to register to attend the launch of The Right to Trade: Rethinking the Aid for Trade Agenda at 3.30pm (CEST) on Wednesday, 26 June.