Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) could be an effective tool for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to mobilise Aid for Trade (AfT) and leveraging other trade related resources to strengthen their trade capacity, said trade, commerce and supplies and finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala, addressing the EIF breakfast meeting in Bali today.
In the sidelines of ninth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, Koirala, delivering his speech as coordinator of the LDC members in the WTO, highlighted the importance and relevance of EIF in addressing supply side constraints of LDCs. "Over the last one and half decade, many LDCs have benefitted from EIF initiatives," he said, the meeting that focused on major three issues – EIF beyond 2015, Leveraging EIF global and national partnership to support delivery of results, and LDCs and the post Bali agenda – that was attended by trade ministers of LDCs, representatives of donors and core agencies, and concerned officials of the WTO and EIF Secretariat.
Acknowledging EIF's important role in trade sector development, poverty reduction and sustainable development, Koirala underscored the need of continuity of EIF with increased fund and functionaries even beyond 2015, the earlier extended timeline which is going to be terminated after two years.
Trade Ministers of LDCs, deputy director general of WTO Yonov Frederick Agah, representatives of core agencies and donors including UNCTAD secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi, EIF executive director Dr Ratnakar Adhikari also expressed their views on strengthening EIF and making EIF framework more responsive to the developmental needs of recipient countries in the days to come.
During the meeting, ministers and head of delegation including Myanmar, Yemen, Comoros, South African Republic and Sierra Leon shared their national experience with regard to the implementation of EIF funded projects.
In response to the concerns expressed by LDC ministers and other delegates, representative of donor members expressed their commitment to continue their support for the continuation of EIF.
The ministers and representatives of different corners, on the occasion, emphasised the need of continuity of EIF, increasing effectiveness of EIF supported project and ensuring ownership of recipient country in the process of designing and implementation of EIF project as well as strengthening partnership among key stakeholders.EIF is a multi-donor trust fund mechanism created under the WTO aegis in 1997 and further revamped in 2005 to support poor countries of the world. It has been supporting LDCs to leverage resources from international community for the enhancement of their trade capacity since its inception.