Magazine article International Trade Forum

Asia Trust Fund Is on Track: This Fast-Track Facility for Trade Assistance in Asia Is Responding Well to New Asian Needs

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Asia Trust Fund Is on Track: This Fast-Track Facility for Trade Assistance in Asia Is Responding Well to New Asian Needs

Article excerpt

Since its launch in September 2004, the Asia Trust Fund (ATF)--funded mainly by the European Union (EU)--has been recognized as a demand-driven facility that has responded effectively to urgent and new needs for trade-related technical assistance in Asia. A recent mid-term review, carried out by an independent consultant for the European Commission, confirmed this and recommended continuing the Asia Trust Fund when the current phase ends in June 2007. Beneficiaries and donors discussed the report at a meeting in Chengdu, China, in November 2006.

In today's fast-moving trade environment, countries must keep up with constantly changing rules and regulations. The Asia Trust Fund, by reducing project development time and expediting delivery, has helped provide a "rapid response" to changing needs.

"The beneficiaries' strong ownership, as well as the focus on immediate and urgent needs, are among the advantages of the ATF compared to other technical assistance programmes," commented Sun Yuanjiang from China's Ministry of Commerce, who also serves as a government focal point for ATE at the meeting. China and Denmark also made financial contributions to the programme. …

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