Strategic Plan to Enhance Trade in Nigeria, Others Launched

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Obinna Chima

A new Strategic Plan launched by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) seeks to deepen efforts to assist least developed countries (LDCs) benefit from trade.

The goals of the new plan are to improve the trade environment for LDCs so there is inclusive and sustainable growth, and to increase their exports and access to international markets.

Officially presented for the first time on in Kampala, Uganda, recently, the new 2019-2022 Strategic Plan was designed to better position LDCs in the global economy at a time of growing concerns about trade.

Housed in the WTO, the EIF is a multi-partner programme dedicated to addressing the trade capacity needs of LDCs.

With an unstable global economy and high trade costs creating uncertainties across the world, the EIF would focus its work on fragile countries and providing the adaptability needed as well as increasing engagement and support for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women in trade.

The redoubling of efforts includes maximising the work the EIF does best – meaning forging close working relationships with LDC governments, creating unique mechanisms for coordination across sectors, partners and ministries and serving as a catalyst for in-country investments in trade.

Drawing from past e-commerce research in a handful of countries, new targets will involve supporting the use and uptake of technology in LDCs that draws from evidence-based trade studies.
“The EIF does vital work and is making a real impact on the ground,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, explained in a report.
“But of course there is still a huge amount of work to be done. We are grateful for the EIF partners’ strong commitment to our ongoing efforts to take this work forward, as encapsulated in the new Strategic Plan. Together we can ensure that the EIF continues to deliver for the LDCs.

“The EIF has been on a remarkable journey over the past decade,” said EIF Executive Director, Ratnakar Adhikari. “We have built the country ownership that is essential for LDCs to achieve sustained trade development. We must redouble our efforts to make LDCs more competitive.”

The EIF is the only multilateral partnership dedicated exclusively to helping LDCs use trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction.

It is a unique global partnership between LDCs, donors and partner agencies, including the WTO, which work together to build trade capacity in LDCs.