free trade’ agenda, independent think-tank IBON Foundation said today, as World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy arrives in Manila to kick off an Asian Development Bank conference on Mobilizing Aid for Trade (AfT). should not be used to promote the ’ ‘
The WTO defines AfT as ‘donor funds’ channeled to finance trade-related technical assistance and infrastructure, plus aid used to develop productive (supply-side) capacity.
According to IBON research head Sonny Africa, development aid could be of assistance to resource-starved underdeveloped countries such as the Philippines . But this can only happen if aid is divorced from the ‘ ’ economic agenda of rich donor countries and decisions over where it is channelled and how it is implemented are placed under the control of local shareholders.
Lamy’s intention of promoting aid for trade only affirms how the WTO dangles development instruments like aid to Third World countries such as the Philippines to force open their economies further.