German activities

From free trade to fair trade

Street with market stalls in Accra, Ghana

One aim of German development policy is to contribute to establishing a stable and socially responsible world economic order. An open and fair trading system, which is based on clear rules and enables developing countries to integrate in global value chains, is a key element of the global partnership envisaged by Germany.

To achieve this goal, some important institutions and agreements that regulate the world economy need to be developed further. At international conferences and in negotiations, the German government speaks out in favour of giving more weight to the interests of developing countries and emerging economies so that their products have a chance to compete on the global market.

The members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) resolved at the conference in Doha, Qatar in 2001 to take greater account of the needs of developing countries. However, the negotiations have still not been concluded because of divergent views among WTO members. Germany is advocating for the Doha Round to be concluded quickly and to deliver pro-development outcomes.

German development cooperation is providing a major contribution to the Aid for Trade initiative, which pools the development measures of donor countries with the aim of promoting partner countries’ active participation in world trade. Aid for Trade can be classified into five categories: trade policy and trade regulations, trade development, trade-related infrastructure, building production capacities and trade-related adaptation.

Germany focuses its activities on trade-related infrastructure and on building production capacity, primarily by supporting the financial and agricultural sectors and promoting services and institutions that strengthen the private sector. Its activities are therefore geared to:

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