Revisiting Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in light of promises made in the context the Doha Trade Negotiation Round

Raymond Saner & Laura Paéz, CSEND policy paper, June 2005.

In 2002, nearly 30 WTO members pledged more than 30 Million Swiss Francs to ensure the achievement of the Doha Development Round (DDR). The pledged amount is meant to finance 514 capacity building actives listed in the WTO Annual Technical Assistance Plan (TAP). In addition, support is to be extended to 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) though the Integrated Framework (IF), to help them integrate trade policy into their development strategies. Concerns have arisen as to the scope, effectiveness and efficiency of the TAP and IF. While the activities planned are laudable, the authors question whether they can be achieved and suggest a fundamental reassessment of TAP and IF in order to fulfill the objectives of the DDR.