Trade and development

Trade and development issues have a strong presence in Geneva. Developing countries' economic development and integration into the world trade is supported by means available in the framework of Aid for Trade (AfT) and implemented via several organisations and programmes active in Geneva. The Permanent Mission is engaged in close cooperation with the key actors, such as WTO, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), ITC (International Trade Centre), and EIF (Enhanced Integrated Framework). Finland contributes to the financing of technical support to developing countries through these organisations and directs support especially to the LDCs and Africa. In addition, Finland support ICTSD (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development), a non-profit and non-governmental organisation, whose mission is to contribute to a better understanding of development and environment concerns in the context of international trade.

The AfT initiative, which has been created in connection with the DDA negotiations, is also fostered in Geneva. Its aim is to improve developing countries' trading capacity to enable them to effectively participate in world trade and to benefit from it. The first Global Review and Annual Debate on AfT by the WTO General Council of November 2007 will be followed by a monitoring meeting in early summer 2009.

 

The largest trade and development organisation in Geneva is UNCTAD, which bases its action on three pillars: intergovernmental cooperation (consensus building), research and technical cooperation. Its future was discussed in UNCTAD XII,

a session in Accra, Ghana, in April 2008. The actual outcome of UNCTAD XII, produced in the form of the Accra Declaration and Accra Accord, was related to UNCTAD's input in the various sectors of trade and development. From the point of view of the EU and Finland, the documents can be said to be a balanced compromise, covering, for example, the goals that the EU prioritises: south-south trade and regional cooperation, commodities, investments and competition; and UNCTAD's strengthening by means of reforms. The Permanent Mission contributed to the work and conclusions of the session both directly and as a representative of an EU Member State.