‘Enhanced Integrated Framework’ of WTO: Latest Developments

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The United Kingdom government announced at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference on 11 December a commitment of £16 million (around US$ 21.3 million) to 51 of the world’s poorest countries.

Channelled through an innovative global trade programme known as the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the funds will help the least developed countries (LDCs) develop the tools, skills and economic capacity they need to become competitive in targeting new markets for their goods and services.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo cited EIF’s progress with helping LDCs improve production and create jobs by producing spices, mangoes, honey, textiles and other products.

Several of EIF’s partner countries, which are all in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, have seen a growth in services, such as tourism and information technology.

Since 2008, when EIF was created, 51 countries have benefitted from the programme’s interventions; in 2016 alone, EIF supported 189 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in LDCs around the world.

EIF is funded by 24 donor countries, whose contributions are administrated by the EIF Trust Fund. Since 2008, EIF has invested more than US$ 220 million to help LDCs strengthen their trade capacities.

In addition to the UK funding, EIF will secure an additional US$ 160 million to help 47 LDCs and four recently graduated countries reach their export goals.

EIF brings together partners and resources to support LDCs in using trade for poverty reduction, inclusive growth and sustainable development.

The EIF is a global partnership between the LDCs, donors and international agencies, including the WTO, underpinned by a multi-donor trust fund, which provides financial and technical support to build trade capacity in 47 LDCs and four graduated countries.

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