Publications and Resources

13 October 2017

The Role of Aid for Trade in Building the Capacity of Developing Country Firms to Meet Sustainability Standards – ICTSD – October 2017

One of the major contemporary challenges facing developing country firms, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is the ever increasing number of regulations and sustainability standards required of them if they are to integrate into global value chains. This paper focuses on the potential role that aid for trade can play in assisting those developing country SMEs and small producers who are struggling to comply with the sustainability standards required by value chains.

Information Economy Report 2017: Digitalization, Trade and Development – UNCTAD – October 2017

The digital economy has already had, and will continue to have, globally transformative impacts on the way we live. The scope and uncertainty associated with the next digital shift call for more facts, dialogue and action by all stakeholders. The analysis contained in this report contributes to this process and proposes ways in which the international community can reduce inequality, enable the benefits of digitalization to reach all people and ensure that no one is left behind by the evolving digital economy.

Reforming Logistics Services for Effective Trade Facilitation – ITC – October 2017

Difficult customs procedures, barriers to investment, and labour regulations limiting movement and hiring of personnel are the most stringent obstacles for logistics services providers in developing countries. The report offers practical guidance for policymakers and logistics services providers to drive regulatory reforms in the sector – including through coordination and dialogue between key stakeholders –, a stepping-stone towards connecting small businesses to international markets.

Small-scale Fisheries and Subsidies Disciplines: Definitions, Catches, Revenues, and Subsidies – ICTSD – September 2017

This information note summarises how small-scale fisheries are identified in international instruments and academic literature and provides estimates of the proportions of total catch, landed value and subsidies that are generated and received by this sector. It provides specific suggestions, based on the findings reported in the paper, of how this socio-economically important sector could be distinguished in the context of subsidy rules in the World Trade Organization.

Leveraging the Services Sector for Inclusive Value Chains in Developing Countries – ICTSD – September 2017

This paper analyses how increased competitiveness in services can drive sustainable development opportunities in value chains in developing countries. By arranging the services components of value chains in the most socially and economically optimal manner, new opportunities for the private sector can emerge, domestic supply-side capacity can be enhanced, and steps towards the achievement of sustainable development objectives can be made.

Social and Environmental Standards: From Fragmentation to Coordination – ITC – September 2017

Voluntary standards have been rising fast, leading to similar standards operating in the same markets. This study finds multiple standards in 86 of 90 markets it reviewed, which creates confusion for consumers and producers alike. This joint report with the European University Institute is the second of a series that goes from identifying social and environmental standards to outlining markets that are most fragmented. It offers recommendations for coordination for standard-setting organizations and policymakers.

New Pathways to E-commerce: A Global MSME Competitiveness Survey – ITC – September 2017

This first ITC e-commerce survey provides valuable insights that will allow countries to shape policies and practices that address the real business needs on the ground. It surveys 2,200 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in 111 countries, and identifies key factors for MSMEs to be able to benefit from e-commerce – including better access to e-platforms, payment and delivery services; streamlined customs procedures; and targeted skill building.

Economic Development in Africa Report 2017: Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth – UNCTAD – September 2017

Tourism is an important sector in many African economies, and its growth is increasingly driven by tourists originating from the continent itself. However, most African countries still face significant challenges and constraints in exploiting its potential. This report identifies the main barriers to unlocking the potential of tourism in Africa to help structurally transform the continent’s economy and provides policy recommendations on how to overcome them.

Private Standards, Trade, and Sustainable Development: Policy Options for Collective Action – ICTSD – August 2017

This paper analyses private standard schemes as management tools used to shift risks, costs, and responsibilities along global value chains. It argues that policymakers can facilitate the trade-creating potential of private standard schemes by acting in concert – at the international level – on their design and operation. The author further reviews relevant multilateral and bilateral work in this area and puts forward six policy options to support concerted governmental action on private standards.

Fuelling Digital Trade: The Global Landscape and Implications For Africa – ICTSD – July 2017

The purpose of this paper is to propose specific ways in which developing countries can best fuel trade in the digital era. It pays special attention to eastern and southern Africa, regions where e-commerce is still quite nascent and can play a transformative role. The paper argues that gains from digitisation to trade and growth are not automatic in developing economies. Rather, these gains depend on an adequate infrastructure and on supportive policies.

Issues and Options for Disciplines on Subsidies to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing – ICTSD – July 2017

This paper identifies issues that have arisen in the WTO negotiations on disciplines to subsides related to IUU fishing and provides information for reference, as well as options, that might be helpful to negotiators as they design new rules. It focuses on the question of how IUU activity might be identified for the purpose of subsidy disciplines, and on the implications of using national legislation to identify IUU activity. It also addresses several specific questions relating to the application of the new disciplines.

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6 October 2017
Trade negotiators are engaged in intense discussions over how to develop new disciplines on harmful fisheries subsidies, with many issues left to clarify and resolve in the two remaining months until...
13 October 2017
A comparison of progress in integration in African regional economic communities with that of other South–South regional integration arrangements reveals slow progress in meeting overly ambitious...