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Trade can reduce poverty

Trade can reduce poverty

An extra $1 million of aid money will go towards trade initiatives this year to help poorer countries trade their way out of poverty, Aid Minister, Marian Hobbs announced today.

"The gains from trade potentially outweigh the financial gains from international aid, yet millions of the world’s poorest people are still being left behind," Marian Hobbs said.

She was speaking to a wide-ranging audience including Non-Government-organisations (NGOs), business representatives, and development experts at the launch of NZAID’s new policy, Harnessing International Trade for Development. NZAID is a semi-autonomous body within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in charge of New Zealand’s international aid budget.

New Zealand’s international aid budget was boosted by $20 million in this year’s budget. While many of NZAID’s programmes impact on developing countries capacity to trade, specific trade programmes have been increased.

An extra $500,000 will help poorer countries in Asia develop trade to reduce poverty. Another $500,000 will go to support sustainable management of the Pacific fisheries resource - the region’s most valuable economic asset.

Research from Oxfam International confirms that if developing countries could increase their share of world exports by just 5%, this would generate some NZ$700 billion in additional income – seven times as much as they receive in aid.

"But trade only reduces poverty if poorer countries have things to trade, education and work skills, good health and markets in which to sell their goods," Marian Hobbs said.

"That's where our aid support comes in. We fund projects in partnership with developing countries to: increase business and export skills develop institutions which support and promote trade to reduce poverty help them tap into markets for their products encourage community enterprises and small business ensure their development interests are supported at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), particularly the Doha Development Round.

"Aid on its own will never succeed in eliminating poverty. But if we can help poorer countries develop their own trade base, they’ll have more money to tackle poverty, long after our aid dollars have done their job,” Marian Hobbs said.

For copies of Harnessing International Trade for Development, or other policy documents: contact NZAID, 04 439 8200 or email mailto: mailto:aidglo@mfat.govt.nz. Or visit the website: http:// http://www.nzaid.govt.nz

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