The FINANCIAL -- Japan has contributed over USD 81,000 (approximately CHF 72,000) to the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) in 2021 to help least-developed countries (LDCs) use trade to combat the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to WTO, the funding will help 46 least-developed countries (LDCs) across Africa, Asia and the Pacific tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by enhancing their capacity to trade. LDCs often rely on exporting one particular commodity or natural resource, making it more complicated for them to recover from a crisis. The EIF's projects are aimed at helping these countries take advantage of the digitalisation of the economy, further integrate into global value chains and develop strategies for economic diversification.
As WTO notes, with this new funding, Japan's total contributions to the EIF amount to USD 200,000.
Japan's WTO Ambassador, Kazuyuki Yamazaki, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic and a range of natural disasters have severely affected LDCs over the past year. At this challenging time, the role of the EIF is all the more important. Through our contribution, we hope that the EIF will continue to provide assistance to help LDCs recover from the crisis and rebuild their economies, including through e-commerce."
The EIF's Executive Director, Ratnakar Adhikari, said: "We are grateful for Japan's commitment to helping least-developed countries recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Their participation in global trade has weakened considerably due to production disruptions, border closures and cancellation of orders. Japan's contribution will help us ensure that these countries can revive the economic progress made before the crisis."
The EIF is the only multilateral partnership dedicated exclusively to helping LDCs use trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. It is a unique global partnership between LDCs, donors and partner agencies, including the WTO, which work together to build trade capacity in LDCs.