The international trade secretary will today announce £18m worth of financing to help 51 of the world’s poorest countries “trade their way out of poverty”, as part of a post-Brexit vision for inclusive global trade.
The Department for International Development funding will help countries to “produce products fit for export, trade more easily across borders and access untapped new markets”.
The package will be split between two World Trade Organization (WTO) schemes, with £16m going to the Enhanced Integrated Framework programme, which helps businesses build capacity, while £2m will go to the Standards and Trade Development Facility, which helps developing countries meet international agricultural standards, enabling them to export more produce.
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Liam Fox will announce the funding at the WTO’s largest ever ministerial conference, being held in Argentina.
The funding pledge comes as the government sets out a “vision for open and inclusive global trade which benefits businesses, consumers and developing countries”. This type of trade will be “central” to the UK’s independent trade policy as it leaves the EU and becomes an independent member of the WTO, the Department for International Trade said.
“As we prepare to leave the EU, we can move forward with more purpose, supporting developing countries to transform their economies through trade and resisting attempts to put up barriers to the open and free trade which has already benefited millions worldwide,” Fox said.
The international trade secretary will also commit the UK’s support for a gender declaration by WTO members. The declaration will seek to ensure women have equal access to the benefits of global trade.
The WTO’s Enhanced Integrated Framework programme, which the UK has supported since 2008, has to date helped 35,000 women get a regular income through trade.
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International development secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
This new UK aid support will help people in countries across Africa and Asia identify products they can sell, make them fit for export and access untapped new markets. This will enable producers – many of whom are poor women – to earn an income, support their country’s economy and help create Britain’s trading partners of the future.