Aid for Trade in the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development: Post-2015 Development Agenda Briefing Series

Date period
24 June 2014

Aid for trade (AfT) is an important part of the international development landscape. Broadly, the concept refers to international assistance that is used to increase a country’s ability to participate in international trade. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), “[t]rade remains the most reliable and productive way of integrating into the global economy and of supporting the efforts of poorer countries to become less aid dependent”.
AfT’s role in building capacity to trade has been reflected in discussions around the creation of a Post-2015 Development Agenda, including in the ‘zero draft’ of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released on 2 June 2014 by the Co-Chairs of the United Nations General Assembly’s Open Working Group on SDGs. In the draft, achievement of the proposed goal around inclusive and sustainable economic growth, would be supported by trade-related capacity-building assistance and enhanced Aid for Trade initiatives.

The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals was established by the United Nations General Assembly to provide recommendations for a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. ICTSD’s Post-2015 Development Agenda Briefing Series, based on submissions to the Open Working Group, summarises research on the role of trade in meeting sustainable development objectives, including addressing the challenges of climate change and sustainable fisheries, and through Aid for Trade.