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1. Introduction and State of Play
A strong commitment to Aid for Trade is emerging from all sides – bilateral donors, recipient countries, multilateral agencies, the private sector and civil society. The idea of trading out of poverty is embraced with rising enthusiasm. It is expected that the share of official development assistance (ODA) aimed at strengthening trade capacities will increase steadily over the coming years.
At their summits in 2005, the G-7 and the G-8 pledged to substantially increase ODA volumes. They also called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to secure additional assistance to developing countries in strengthening their trade capacities and to “ease adjustment in their economies” so that they can benefit from more open markets.
The Development Committee of the World Bank and the IMF, explored options for expanding Aid for Trade at their spring and autumn session in 2005. At the WTO December 2005 Hong Kong Ministerial Conference the most important donors announced their pledges. The EU and its member states intended to spend Euros 2 billion per year (2.4 billion US dollars at the exchange rate of the day) on trade-related programmes by 2010, the US pledged that its trade-related assistance would reach 2.7 billion US dollars by that date. Japan announced it would spend 10 billion US dollars over three years. It was unclear, however, how much of these assurances would translate into making available new resources and in what form they would be disbursed.
The Task Force on Aid for Trade, established in the wake of the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, presented its recommendations in July 2006. The WTO Director-General (DG) reported to the General Council in July and December 2006 on securing additional financial resources and on the monitoring and evaluation of Aid for Trade respectively. He was mandated to convene periodically an Ad Hoc Consultative Group among multilateral institutions, the regional development banks, and institutional representatives of the private sector. The Ad Hoc Consultative Group will assist in preparing global reviews and providing follow-up support in terms of advocacy and fundraising.
The Aid for Trade Chronology gives an overview of past developments on Aid for Trade, including highlights of summit outcomes, meetings of the Development Committee of the IMF and the World Bank and of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD, position papers and reports on consultations. A schedule of activities on AFT contains upcoming events organised by the WTO, the OECD and the other organisations involved in the process, including AITIC. Unless otherwise stated, the events are set in Geneva. Switzerland.
Detailed chronology for each year can be found at the following links: