Trade Related Capacity Building: An Overview in the Context of Latin American Trade Policy and the MERCOSUR-EU Association Agreement

Feb 2005
Trade has become an increasingly important strategic objective for developing countries. This is a relatively new phenomenon for many of them. Hence the demand to intensify an insertion into the world economy often advances faster than their institutional capacities to formulate effective strategies, trade policies and institutions. This is further complicated by the fact that the insertion is increasingly being undertaken through negotiation of ever more complex trade agreements with important asymmetries between the parties and large repercussions from market opening. Under these circumstances it is not surprising that trade-related capacity building (TRCB) has increasingly gained the attention of developing countries and donors alike. By practicing the art of the possible many advances have been achieved. But many shortcomings are still hindering the delivery of effective TRCB; ironically, some of them being outgrowths of attempts to perfect TRCB.