WTO and World Bank Forum Focuses on Trade and Poverty Reduction

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Bank held a forum on trade and poverty reduction. The forum, which forms a part of the organization’s work on trade and poverty held on the 26th May, 2016. It also aims at building on the report on the role of trade in ending poverty launched in June 2015. During the forum, the major assertion made was that the expansion of international trade is essential to poverty reduction but the relationship between economic growth, poverty reduction and trade is a complex one.

During the meeting, the senior director of the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, Anabel Gonzalez, explained that the World Bank is currently developing new tools to better understand the interaction between trade and poverty reduction.

Will Martin, the Keynote Speaker said that opening to trade can be very helpful in managing volatility in agriculture while emphasizing the level of structural long term poverty in rural areas. It was also said that poverty affects women disproportionately and that women are unable to access trade opportunities due to gender discrimination. Innovative approaches to gathering and using data to develop analytic frameworks to solve the problem of poverty were presented by participants.

Focus was also placed on the role of Aid for Trade to maximize the poverty reduction impact of integration into global trade. The four broad support categories of Aid for Trade (AfT) and how these areas could potentially lead to poverty reduction and a more robust economy were mentioned.

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