Trade Policy Development - Netherlands
E-mail: rsalim1 [at] worldbank.org
This is a US$6.75 million multidonor facility launched in 2008, funded by the Dutch Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Bank, and managed by the World Bank over a period envisaged to be four years. Its objective is to strengthen the capacity of the Indonesian Ministry of Trade, the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs and other concerned agencies to be more effective in the design and implementation of policies to promote Indonesian trade and improve the investment climate. Projects supported under the Facility may include: (i) institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Trade; (ii) improvement of trade competitiveness; (iii) strengthening of financial sector stability; and (iv) regulatory reform to improve the investment climate.
In 2007 – 2008, the Government of the Netherlands provided funding for a number of civil society organizations to develop a broad variety of activities around the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations. These activities played a crucial role in influencing national policy and providing information for the wider public on the EPAs. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned a large number of studies with leading research institutions, think tanks and civil society institutions in the Netherlands and elsewhere, such as ECDPM, ICCO, ICTSD, NUFFIC, ODI, SOMO, on a regular basis.
The following brief list gives a few of the main research papers it has funded:
• ICTSD research into strengthening the negotiating positions and strategies of developing countries in the WTO negotiations on disciplines related to fishery subsidies;
• A review by the ODI, in collaboration with ECDPM, of the EPA interim agreements to assess their overall coherence with the development agenda;
• A report published by ICCO, “The Dialogue of the Deaf”.
These studies/papers were used to feed into the negotiation process, and assisted the ACP negotiators and civil society to participate actively in EPA negotiations. Under various types of funding from the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Dutch civil society organizations have also collaborated and supported organizations in Africa concerned with EPAs. This has led to the wider recognition of the added value and expertise of these local players by African governments, while, in Europe, the EPA activities of civil society organizations have led to a more intensive involvement by individual Member States in the negotiations and greater attention to the development objectives of the EPAs.