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WTO Holds Workshop on Aid for Trade, Sustainable Development and the Green Economy

February 2012: The World Trade Organization (WTO) organized a workshop on Aid for Trade, Sustainable Development and the green economy, during which participants discussed how the multilateral trading system enables green growth and highlighted the need for clean development as part of development strategies.

The workshop, held on 29 February 2012, was organized by the WTO's Committee on Trade and Development and was attended by representatives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Trade Centre and other agencies as well as by WTO members.

In his opening and concluding remarks, the Chair of the Committee, Ambassador Anthony Mothae Maruping (Lesotho), concluded that Aid for Trade contributes to sustainable development but much more needs to be done to make green growth a reality.

Participants also discussed how green growth can foster innovation, investment and competition that can give rise to new sources of economic growth.  In closing the workshop, the Committee Chair concluded, inter alia, that: trade is an intrinsic part of the economic development pillar of sustainable development and that the WTO has a central role to play in ensuring that environmental measures and green growth policies are not disguised forms of protectionism; least-developed countries are well-placed to adapt to the green economy but, like in other developing countries, cost and access to technology are inhibiting factors; and there is evidence that Aid for Trade contributes to sustainable development but much more needs to be done to make green growth a reality, rather than a dream. [WTO News and meeting podcast]