Aid for Trade Global Review Meeting
Session 3: From Project Results to Development
in Geneva on the morning of July 18, 2011
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Mr. Takahashi's Speech
Thank you, Mr. Islam, for giving me the opportunity to explain the Japanese Government's work on Aid- for-Trade.
Developments in AfT and Japan's policies
Japan has been active in enhancing Aid-for-Trade-related measures in the firm belief that developing countries are able to realize economic growth through the expansion of trade. Based upon these viewpoints, Japan has so far carried out its Aid-for-Trade initiatives, under the title of "Development Initiative for Trade", for two consecutive periods. For the first phase of 2006-08, Japan announced, prior to the 2005 Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration, the promotion of Aid-for-Trade-related measures and fully implemented the first initiative including the disbursement of 10 billion US dollars for trade-related ODA. At the second global review meeting in 2009, for the second phase of 2009-11, Japan announced its current initiative comprised of ODA projects in trade totaling 12 billion US dollars, and has steadily implemented this initiative to date.
Asia-Pacific RTG Activities
Concerning monitoring and evaluation, which is also the topic of this session. It is not an easy task to measure how much the implemented projects have contributed to the development of partner countries because there are a number of variables associated in the process of evaluation. In order to tackle this tough issue, some Asia-Pacific countries including Japan organized a small expert group called "Regional Technical Group" for a voluntary process of deliberation. This group continues discussion on how to implement Aid-for-Trade measures effectively in light of Asian experiences. Recently, the results of discussions made thus far by this unique group have been summarized in a report. As is pointed out in this report, which will be explained in detail during tomorrow's break-out session, the FDI is a key for the development of developing countries.
Japan's Activities in Africa
Japan regards it as important to share with other regions its expertise on Aid for Trade gained through its long experience in Asia. Of particular importance is to assist African countries, which are now a priority for Japan's ODA. As for our assistance to Africa, we are undertaking various Aid-for-Trade-related ODA. In concrete terms, Japan's financial and technical support has placed emphasis on the development of selected important international corridors in each region, focusing on road projects as well as those of ports, bridges and urban transport. These infrastructure projects are planned together with Africa (NEPAD-PIDA) and implemented based on our experiences in Asia. At the same time, for the purpose of making infrastructure development more effective, Japan is promoting "One Stop Border Posts (OSBP)" to facilitate smooth cross-border customs procedures.
Such improvement in distribution networks will help enhance regional integration, and is expected to lead to economic development by accelerating private sector activities.
Foreign direct investment targeting Africa is rapidly growing and overtook the ODA in 2006. In this context, Japan also pledged in 2008 to double the Japanese private sector investment to 3.4 billion dollars by 2012, and the five year average through 2009 was 4.2 billion, thereby temporarily exceeding the target.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the significance of FDI for the development of partner countries. In light of Japan's experiences both in Asia and Africa, assistance for trade infrastructure and increase of related foreign direct investment play an important role. It would be useful to share concrete ideas of what constitutes more effective Aid-for-Trade by exchanging views based on case studies submitted at this meeting by WTO members. Japan is ready to continue to support Aid-for-Trade initiatives such as RTG activities, which could explore further possibilities for enhancing the trade capacity of developing countries.
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