PROJECT B The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business. The WTO does not provide trade finance nor is an international financial institution. Recent Activities The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) was set up by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), and is run by the five partners together with donor countries and representatives of developing countries. The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) assist developing countries tackle pests, animal and plant diseases and contaminants by helping them build up their capacity to implement requirements known as “sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS)” standards through increased awareness and knowledge of good practices and by funding projects that promote compliance with the standards, including grants to help prepare projects. Objective: help developing countries to expand and diversify food and agricultural production and exports, resulting in economic development, poverty reduction, better nutrition, food security and environmental protection. Solutions: Measures: boost collaboration and information Funding to implement new strategy will remain sharing on technical co-operation at the current target of $5m per year, with a mid- help recipient countries identify their term review due in 2013. The STDF will continue needs, define their priorities and design to dedicate at least 40% of its project resources project proposals that are likely to receive to beneficiaries in least developed countries funding from various donors (LDCs) and other low income countries. improve the performance of countries benefiting from the limited number of STDF-funded projects Representatives of international financial institutions, private banks and other experts met at the WTO, 12 November 2008, to analyze the shortage of credit to finance trade and discuss possible measures to address the problem. Objective: to keep trade flowing as an important contribution to address the current economic crisis Problems: Measures taken: Solutions: The main one is the The World Bank/IFC is Fill the gap of liquidity by shortage of liquidity to actively studying a tripling increasing the finance trade credits. The of the ceiling, to opportunity for market currently $3 billion, of the trade commercial banks to co- estimates the liquidity finance guarantees share risks with gap in trade finance at available under the IFC's international financial about $25 billion. trade finance facilitation institutions and export The second is a general programme. credit agencies. re-assessment of the risks Export credit agencies Improve mechanisms of caused by the financial have increased their information sharing, risk crisis and by the slowing business activities by assessment and data down of the world more than 30 percent in collection on trade and economy. the last twelve months. finance. These problems are being National governments, for Develop mechanisms to felt most acutely by example Germany, Hong allow for more co- traders and banks in the Kong (China) and Japan, financing trade between emerging market have actively being private banks, export economies. backing this increase. credit agencies and international financial institutions. The Aid for Trade initiative, which has been a prominent feature in the WTO agenda for the last few years, also has studied the problem of Trade Finance and its possible solutions. Aid for Trade is a complement to the current Doha Development Agenda negotiations aiming at reducing and eliminating trade barriers, and helping developing countries, in particular the least developed, to build the trade capacity and infrastructure they need. Objective: use trade opening as an engine of economic growth to fight unemployment and poverty.
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