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Development Account Projects

Strengthening of capacities of trade and planning ministries of selected least developed countries to develop and implement trade strategies that are conducive to poverty reduction

Background:

This project aims to strengthen the capacities of trade and planning ministries of six selected least developed countries (LDCs) to enable them to develop and implement trade strategies that are conducive to poverty reduction. As history has shown, trade can be a powerful means for poverty reduction if trade leads to greater productive capacities and employment opportunities that particularly benefit the poor. In order to allow them to harness the opportunities that trade creates for poverty reduction, it is essential that LDCs are equipped with strong human, analytical and institutional capacities to assess and identify trade opportunities and challenges, and formulate and implement adequate trade policies and strategies, to build the required productive capacities and effectively compete in international markets. A comprehensive, inclusive and pro-poor trade strategy is thus an important ingredient to this process and will make a contribution to the achievement of the MDGs. A key feature of successful trade strategies is a strong partnership between governments, business communities and other stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of such pro-poor trade strategies. Project M will assist governments and business communities to jointly elaborate such trade strategies through advisory and consultancy services, training activities and hands-on support to the elaboration of concrete implementable trade strategies with the support of UNCTAD and CEB cluster expertise on international trade, institution building and implementation matters. Synergies will be built with ongoing capacity-building initiatives such as the Enhanced Integrated Framework. 

Objective:

To strengthen the capacities of trade and planning ministries in selected least developed countries to identify trade priorities as well as formulate and implement trade strategies leading to poverty reduction.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Strengthened capacity of trade and planning ministries of participating least developed countries to jointly assess trade options and fully understand the implications of trade strategies and policies conducive to poverty reduction
  • Strengthened national capacity for the formulation of a trade policy / strategy conducive to poverty reduction with an implementation plan
  • Strengthened national capacity for integrating development-centered sectoral trade strategies and policies into national development plans (e.g. United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks and poverty reduction strategy papers)
  • Increased utilization of Enhanced Integrated Framework and Aid for Trade resources in support of the integration and implementation of trade priorities in national development and poverty reduction plans.

Implementation status:

The project started in April 2012, thus the impact will be evaluated at a later stage. During the reporting period, the six beneficiary countries, as well as national partners have been identified, and the selection process for consultants initiated. National consultants are expected to provide substantive support and material in the implementation of the workshops.  A policy handbook will be commissioned to an international consultant recognized for leading expertise and publication records in the areas of trade and development. The first rounds of national workshops are scheduled to be launched in 2013.

The national workshops and training modules will involve government officials, private sector representatives and non-governmental actors. These activities, alongside UNCTAD’s technical assistance, will help in devising the processes for developing and implementing a trade strategy and trade policy framework conducive to poverty reduction.