Counting on trade to promote development


<p style="text-align: justify;">The small island state of Tuvalu is looking at trade promotion as a tool to achieve some of its key development objectives, including alleviating poverty. The Tuvalu Government is seeking to achieve this through the Trade Capacity Building and Institution Strengthening project, launched in Funafuti this week. <!--more--></p>

[caption id="attachment_4383" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Kausea Natano, Tuvalu Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister for Finance and Economic Development and Akiko Fujii, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, launching the project in Funafuti this week."]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-4383" title="UNDP DRR and Tuvalu Dep PM - lrg" src="" alt="" width="300" height="200" /></a>[/caption]
<p style="text-align: left;">The project aims to assist the Department of Trade, the private sector and civil society in strengthening their capacities to formulate, implement and assess trade policies.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">A Diagnostic Trade Integration study conducted in 2010 showed that Tuvalu has the potential to increase its import earnings while at the same time improving its citizens’ quality of life through increased livelihood opportunities and food security. Areas targeted for strengthening are those that are currently earning the country foreign exchange, especially the labour mobility market: seamen working in foreign owned vessels – and earnings from fishing licenses.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The new trade policy is envisaged as being aligned to the national development policies, addressing climate change, poverty reduction, health and food security, besides addressing concerns of women and vulnerable groups in the population.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The project aims to better prepare the country in terms of its negotiations in regional and international forums and in exploring opportunities for better returns for its citizens. Key to this is the capacity building of government institutions working in the area of trade; developing trade policies that support poverty reduction, inclusive economic growth and equitable sustainable development; as well as supporting the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to enhance trade. The project also plans to help improve donor coordination, and Aid for Trade in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Tuvalu Trade Capacity Building and Institution Strengthening will be managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour. The project, which has received USD$1.1 million funding from the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade Related Activities in Least Developed Countries (EIF) – a multi donor trust fund based in WTO Geneva, will run for three years and end in 2015.</p>

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