Trade and Human Development

A Practical Guide to Mainstreaming Trade

image of Trade and Human Development

Nearly four billion people live on $2 a day or less. More than a billion of them live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less than $1.25 a day. Since 2003, world trade expanded at an average annual rate of 16 per cent, before collapsing as a result of the global economic crisis in 2009. Despite the growth, the benefits of trade are still unequally distributed both within and across countries. For example in 2009, three countries accounted for 40 per cent of world merchandise exports while the 48 least developed countries accounted for less than one per cent. This publication discusses the dynamics of trade mainstreaming in developing countries by drawing on the experience of 14 case studies. The objective is to look more closely at the context in which trade mainstreaming occurs, and to identify the common elements of success in mainstreaming trade in national development strategies.



Executive summary

Trade has long played an important role in expanding people’s horizons and choices. Integrating or mainstreaming trade into development planning can therefore have a positive impact on human development. This report takes a fresh look at mainstreaming trade and the key role this can play in addressing national development challenges. The main take away from the report is that good practices like sound analysis of trade opportunities, strategic interventions, inclusive stakeholder engagement and coordinated action are critical to mainstreaming trade into development planning, policies and activities. Coherence, inclusiveness and strategy are among the report’s main concepts.


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