Australia will contribute $2 million under the World Trade Organization’s Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) to assist the world’s poorest countries to integrate into the global trading system.
Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd and Trade Minister Craig Emerson announced the contribution in connection with the Third Global Review of trade-related development assistance (Aid for Trade), held at WTO headquarters in Geneva on 18-19 July.
"This is an important demonstration of Australia’s commitment to the poorest countries of the world, and a reflection that trade is proven as one of the most effective drivers of economic growth, development and poverty reduction," Mr Rudd said.
Dr Emerson added: "Our provision of trade-related development assistance also reflects our view that a strong multilateral trading system is essential for economic stability and global prosperity."
The Ministers welcomed the focus of the global review on demonstrating the results of aid. This included improved measurement of the impact of trade-related development assistance on growth and poverty reduction.
"We were also pleased to see the particular challenges and priorities of our Pacific partners were a focus of the global review," Mr Rudd said.
"The aid program advances our national interest through effectively promoting a more stable and prosperous region." Australia will contribute $2 million to the EIF, a multi-donor program which brings together least-developed nations, donors and international agencies to assist the world’s poorest countries to become more active in the global trading system.
The EIF benefits 47 least-developed nations, including important regional partners for Australia such as Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
In addition, Australia will finalise arrangements this month to become the 41st member of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL), a Geneva-based intergovernmental organisation that provides training and legal services to developing countries. Australia made a $3 million contribution to ACWL in 2010.
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