Minister of State Conor Lenihan supports €1 billion EU aid-for-trade package
Ireland has said it will support a €1 billion aid-for-trade package being proposed at EU level.
Minister of State Conor Lenihan today in Brussels gave his support to an EU Presidency proposal to commit €1 billion ahead of the Hong Kong trade talks in December.
“This €1 billion commitment is to be delivered by 2010, and Ireland will be increasing its assistance for aid-for-trade measures in line with our expanding aid programme,” said Minister of State Lenihan.
“Ireland welcomes the increased focus on aid for trade and firmly believe that it is important that the package should go beyond trade related assistance provided to date and should include measures to mitigate and compensate for the negative effects of trade reforms.”
“Trade has the potential to lift developing countries out of poverty on a scale that could generate many times the benefits derived from aid alone. The Aid for Trade initiative should not be an alternative to progress on the real issues of concern to the least developed countries” he added.
A final decision on the €1 billion aid-for-trade package will be made when Ministers meet again in early December immediately prior to the opening of the Hong Kong talks.
Development Ministers meeting in Brussels today also agreed a stronger approach to making EU aid to Africa more effective and streamlined.
22nd November 2005
Note to Editors
President Barroso announced an increase in European Commission spending on aid for trade from €700m to €1bn at the Gleneagles G8 summit. At the Informal Meeting of Development Ministers in Leeds on 24-25 October, Ministers agreed that Aid for Trade was a high priority and undertook to bring forward proposals on the EU's possible contribution to an enhanced aid for trade package ahead of Hong Kong. Building on this, today's discussion by Development Ministers reinforces the need to put in place a substantive, comprehensive and credible package on Aid for Trade to help developing countries gain from measures within the WTO Doha Round.