Think Piece

Promoting Greater Regulatory Coherence and Cooperation through Aid for Trade: What could be done? What role for the private sector and the WTO?

September 2015
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Trade and development paradigms have shifted in recent years, one of the reasons being the emergence of global value chains (GVCs) as the main feature of global business strategies. However, this shift in the paradigms has not been followed by parallel shifts in trade policy and Aid for Trade (AfT) practice. To remedy this situation and better address the need for regulatory coherence and cooperation, this paper suggests a shift in focus of AfT from trade to “trade and competitiveness” and a shift in the methods of AfT delivery to increase the role of the private sector. Moving from trade to “trade and competitiveness” in the AfT approach would help developing countries join, remain part of, and move up value chains. Deeper cooperation with the private sector would help assess where regulatory reforms and/or coordination are needed, and what type of regulations would be best suited to promoting trade and development.

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