Response to the Inquiry into the strategic effectiveness and outcomes of Australia’s aid program in the Indo-Pacific and its role in supporting Australia's regional interests
Aid for Trade investments include specific initiatives aimed at bringing a range of commercial, policy and other best practices to markets that collaborate in this context. While this flow is often directed to developing markets, there are increasing instances where the flow is two-way, as was the case with M-Pesa and the deployment of mobile payment solutions.
In the end, trade and investment flows enable transfers of technology, support R&D and serve to facilitate the sharing of best practices, ideally reinforcing additional freer, rules-based flows of trade and capital.
In supporting the engagement of developing market SMEs into trade-based economic flows, Aid for Trade assists in ensuring the overall health and sustainability of global supply chains, and serves as a mechanism for encouraging sustainable sourcing, good governance, labour and child safety, anti-corruption measures and a range of related Twenty-First Century trade practices. Aid for Trade, and development-oriented facilitation activities also include access to timely and affordable financing and trade financing for SMEs, often prohibitively expensive or simply inaccessible, despite the reality that small firms rely on cashflow and working capital for their commercial survival.
Australia can take a leadership role in shifting the nature and tone of the Aid for Trade and Trading out of Poverty discourse, from its historically paternalistic nature, to one based truly on collaboration, mutual benefit, and genuine exchange of perspectives on key issues.
The GTPA welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the Inquiry into the strategic effectiveness and outcomes of Australia’s aid program in the Indo-Pacific and its role in supporting Australia's regional interests.
The GTPA would like to congratulate the Australian Government’s increasing support for Aid for Trade in recent times as well as the positive steps to implement programmes that deliver real impact. The GTPA believes that it is imperative that the Australian Government leverage the success to date to continue to invest in meaningful and impactful Aid for Trade initiatives.
The GTPA’s response has focused on our area of expertise:
- Australia's aid program in terms of strategic and development goals;
- innovation in Australia's aid program through the innovationXchange;
- the Aid for Trade program, including a re-examination of the target percentage;
- the role and integration of cooperation chapters in free trade agreements;
- increasing the participation and engagement of women in private sector development opportunities;