Global Advocacy

The global advocacy category covers services that are designed to promote the use of trade as a development tool and to encourage sup­port for developing countries’ efforts to improve their trade capacity building. This includes analysis and dissemination of trade-related information, promoting understanding of the relationship between trade and development, and supporting policies. Some agencies pro­vide information on and support for the interactions between their more specialized interests and trade.

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Trade Policy Development

Agencies’ assistance to trade policy development is generally provided in four areas: design and implementation of trade policy; specific developing country issues in trade (such as commodity exports and preferences); support in trade negotiations; and assistance in man­aging the interactions between trade and other policies.

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Legal and Regulatory Framework

Assistance under this category includes helping countries to bring their own regulations into conformity with international rules, more general help to improve their legal institutions, and training officials to deal with such rules. A number of the agencies specialise in par­ticular areas, rather than trying to provide expertise on the legal rules in all sectors. For several, the aim is to balance trade-related obli­gations with other national (or international) interests.

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Supply Capacity

In line with the trade focus of this Guide, support activities to develop supply capacity are considered to be those that aim to increase the availability of goods and services for export. There is no easy distinction between this and building more general capacity to pro­duce, and this distinction is becoming less pertinent as borders open and competition in local markets from imports increases. Some agencies do not make this distinction in their projects.

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Compliance support infrastructure and services

Assistance in this category is closely related to that under the Legal and Regulatory Framework, but places more emphasis on building the institutions in developing countries to implement such legal frameworks, and less on the details of compliance. It is an area where the specialised agencies again have the main role

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Trade promotion capacity building

This category includes both direct support to exporters and the building of institutions in-country which will provide such support. It is different from many of the other categories in its direct relationship to the private sector.

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Market and Trade Information

Market information and trade information services are different in their focus and methods. Market information is about sub-sectors and products, while trade information focuses on the aggregate level, including data on trade flows, policies affecting trade, and trends in these. Market information is usually targeted at traders. Trade information is, broadly speaking, intended to be used by policy-makers.

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Trade Facilitation

This category covers the development, harmonization, and implementation of the rules and procedures which govern how goods cross borders.

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E-commerce Services & Digital Economy

This category includes capacity building activities directed to development of e-commerce from the perspective of the physical and regulatory factors, for example reducing barriers to trade across distance via electronic marketplaces, development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, and regulatory frameworks. 

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Physical Trade Infrastructure

Like Supply Capacity, this is a category where the boundary between trade support and more general support to production or develop­ment is not clearly defined. Some agencies try to allocate spending on individual projects partially to trade and partially to other purposes; others focus on the principal purpose of a project or a type of activity.

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Trade-Related Financial Services

Trade finance is one of the areas where exporters from developing countries are most disadvantaged compared to those from developed coun­tries because selling at a distance to purchasers who are not directly known within the country requires special skills and risk assessment from banks. Only when exports reach a sufficiently high level is it profitable for banks in a country to acquire these skills, so exporters, par­ticularly SMEs, are hampered by difficulty in accessing export finance. Therefore both the cost and the availability of appropriate finance are problems. Some agencies offer support to build national capacity, while others try to fill the gap until such capacity is available.

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South-South and Triangular Cooperation

South-South cooperation is the process whereby two or more developing countries pursue their individual and/or shared national capacity development objectives through exchanges of knowledge, skills, resources and technical know-how, and through regional and interregional collective actions, including partnerships involving Governments, regional organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector, for their individual and/or mutual benefit within and across regions.

Triangular Cooperation is a southern-driven partnership between two or more developing countries, supported by a developed country or multilateral organization(s), to implement development cooperation programmes and projects.

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Gender Mainstreaming, Employment and Youth

The category intends to report on activities to support women's economic empowerment, employment and activities targeted at the youth.

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Other Trade-Related Activities

Other types of assistance, although some of them may not be specifically targeted at trade, may be intended to affect trade.

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