Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade
June 30-July 02, 2015Geneva, Switzerland

From June 30th to July 2nd trade and development ministers from around the world will join heads of multilateral and development agencies, the private sector and civil society to discuss how the global community can come together to help reduce the costs of global trade in order to help countries achieve sustainable growth that can help lift millions of people out of poverty.

Aid for Trade helps developing countries, and particularly least developed countries, trade. Many developing countries face a range of supply-side and trade-related infrastructure obstacles which constrains their ability to engage in international trade. The Fifth Global Review of Aid for Trade will be held at the World Trade Organization (WTO) from June 30th to July 2nd 2015. The theme of the Review is “Reducing Trade Costs for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth”.

This event will bring together participants from around the world — notably trade and development ministers, other government officials, heads of multilateral and development agencies, representatives of the private sector and civil society — to discuss how to reduce high trade costs, which act as a brake on the integration of many developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) into international trade.

The World Bank Group (WBG), which is the largest multilateral provider of aid for trade, will participate in several sessions at this event. 

Launch of the Joint World Bank-World Trade Organization Report: The Role of Trade in Ending Poverty
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 |09:15 -09:45
(Event recording available Thursday, July 2nd)

Trade as a percentage of GDP has more than doubled over the last 50 years, with exports of goods and services now accounting for 30 percent of global GDP. At the same time, levels of extreme poverty have declined in part due to a global effort to reduce trade costs and integrate developing countries into the global economy. But high levels of poverty still remain and a sustained effort to further integrate developing countries into the global economy is essential. As countries work toward lifting the remaining billion out of extreme poverty, the constraints faced by the poor will need to be tackled in order to maximize their gains from trade opportunities. A new report, to be launched jointly by the World Bank and WTO, identifies four leading dimensions of poverty that constrain the poor from gaining the full benefits from trade. They are: rural poverty, gender, fragility and conflict, and informality. All four of these dimensions must be part of our approach to unlocking the contribution of trade to growth and poverty reduction.


  • Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group
  • Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO)


  • Keith Rockwell, Director, Information and External Relations Division, World Trade Organization

Reducing Trade Costs for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 |10:00 -11:30
(Event recording available Monday, July 6th)

High trade costs effectively price many developing countries out of global markets, not just with respect to their exports, but also access to imports too. As a result, comparative advantages in merchandise goods may remain unexploited and the economic growth possibilities offered by services' trade are untapped.

The challenge of reducing trade costs and the contribution that this can make to inclusive, sustainable growth – a concept that lies at the heart of proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – is the central theme of this year's Aid for Trade at a Glance publication. The session will discuss how action on reducing trade costs can contribute to the UN's emerging Post-2015 Development Agenda, together with Financing for Development.

Opening Remarks

Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organization


  • Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Jim Kim, President, World Bank Group
  • Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Takehiko Nakao, President, Asian Development Bank


Sean Doherty, Director, International Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum

Panel discussion:

  • Solomon Asamoah, Vice-President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, African Development Bank
  • Antoni Estevadeordal, Manager, Integration and Trade Sector, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Arancha González, Executive Director, International Trade Centre
  • Philippe Le Hourérou, Vice President for Policy and Partnership, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, United Nations Development Programme
  • Hani Sonbol, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation

Lessons from Natural Disasters and Other Humanitarian Emergencies on the Role of Trade in Relief and Reconstruction
Tuesday, June 30th | 13:30 - 15:00

Recent natural disasters highlight the role that trade can play in both relief and reconstruction – and how the same weak capacity, trade-related infrastructure and supply-side constraints that hamper developing country participation in commercial trade can also hinder relief and reconstruction. For example, the World Bank Group has estimated that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will lose at least US$1.6 billion in forgone economic growth in 2015 as a result of the Ebola outbreak. Research by the Commonwealth Secretariat has highlighted how the trade effects of this crisis have spread well beyond the three Ebola-affected countries due to land border closures and cargo controls. The session will feature a discussion on these issues with ministerial representatives of recently disaster-affected governments and their international partners, kicked off by a presentation from the World Bank Group on work being conducted in collaboration with the IFRC and others to draw attention to the links between trade and humanitarian emergencies.

Reducing Trade Costs in the Cotton Value Chain
Thursday, July 2 | 9:00 - 10:30

This plenary session will examine the issue of trade costs from a sectoral perspective, with a specific focus on the cotton value chain. High trade costs erode the competitiveness of low-income suppliers. Discussions and negotiations at WTO since the “Sectoral Initiative for the Cotton Sector” was submitted in 2003 have highlighted that the cotton sector is a driver of economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries, and particularly in LDCs. Cotton trade also has a role to play in economic empowerment of women. Research points to a range of issues that drive up transport costs for cotton suppliers, such as transport infrastructure failings, transit regimes and customs documentation issues. The aim of this session is to examine the issue of trade costs for cotton exports, analyze how LDCs can identify priority areas for growth, the barriers they may face in building capacity in these areas, and how to attract the support of development partners and investors to enhance export performance and add value in the cotton chain.


Adam Sneyd, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Guelph, Canada

Panel discussion:

  • Françoise Assogba, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Small and Medium Enterprises, Benin
  • Paul Brenton, Lead Economist, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank Group
  • Hippolyte Dah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, Burkina Faso
  • Kai Hughes, Managing Director, International Cotton Association
  • Abdel K. Konaté, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mali
  • Steve MacDonald, Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Aziz Mahamat Saleh, Minister of Economy, Trade and Tourism Development, Chad
  • José Sette, Executive Director, International Cotton Advisory Committee

Managing Non-tariff Measures in Sustainable Development Strategies
Thursday, July 2nd | 9:00 – 10:30

The session raises the awareness of the importance of non-tariff measures (NTMs) for trade costs and sustainable development. Some assessments indicate that NTMs are far more important for trade costs than any other trade control measure. Official NTMs such as laws and regulations and procedural obstacles such as inefficient implementations are distinguished.

Full Program of Aid for Trade Global Review Events


  • WHEN: June 30th – July 2nd
  • WHERE: Geneva, Switzerland

Follow the event via hashtag #AidforTrade | #WTOat20