Jonathan Ernst, World Bank Photo Collection

Jonathan Ernst, World Bank Photo Collection

On 14 October 2015 the European Commission has released the new EU trade and investment strategy. Its catchy title – ‘Trade for All’ – is very auspicious, as well as ambitious. The strategy contains promising elements for global development. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating: how will the strategy be put into practice?

ODI’s Max Mendez-Parra and colleagues San Bilal (ECDPM) and Clara Brandi (DIE) identified six issues that are particularly important from a development perspective. Read their article here.

In January, the European Commission launched proposals for a new EU trade strategy. EDCSP has today published a report bringing together 18 essays from the world’s leading trade and development experts to discuss the main issues covered.

The report warns that the EU’s increasingly protectionist stance over trade policy will damage the economies of a range of developing countries. Read the report here.

The EU is the most open trading bloc in the world, around three quarters of EU imports from developing countries are duty free – this is a much larger share than imports to the US and China. However, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) continue to account for a low share of global trade, experiencing an increase in their share of global trade of just 0.4% (from 0.8% to 1.2%) over the last decade. In the view of recent trends, the European Commission has decided to review its traditional trade and development tools, in a bid to tailor them to those countries that are getting left behind.

On 7 February 2012, the European Commission held a public consultation meeting on its latest trade strategy – ‘Trade, Growth & Development: tailoring trade and investment policy for those countries most in need’, which was released at the end of January.

ODI’s Jodie Keane reports back in this meeting report.

Following the release of the European Commission’s communication on trade, growth and development, Dirk Willem te Velde examines how the policy plans to respond to a growing differentiation amongst countries and a growing list of global challenges in this ODI blog.

The EU is reviewing the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), its broadest-based trade policy to support developing country exports. The European Commission has proposed the most radical changes in the scheme’s three-decade history, arguing that this will ‘focus the GSP preferences on the countries most in need’. But will it?

This Project Briefing summarises ODI research, and finds that only a very small part of any gains will accrue to poor countries and that workers in the graduates may be just as poor and vulnerable as those in beneficiary states.