According to Robert Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, trade is an important and necessary aspect of any economy. It has rescued almost a billion people from the clutches of poverty and thus should be treated with the same importance and immediacy of action as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.
What he says is true, to say the least. Trade and commerce have helped stabilize the economy of many countries. The necessity of trade cannot be undermined when there is overwhelming proof to suggest that it has actively reduced the world’s poverty problem to half.
Azevedo has suggested that trade should play a serious role in developing the UN’s SDGs for 2030. It is possible to achieve this through commitment, constant hard work, and dialogue between nations.
Thus, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has included trade between nations as an important aspect of growing economies and reducing poverty, as well as an important means of achieving sustainable development goals. This is also known as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has collaborated closely with the World Trade Organization to look over the trade policies of several major countries. They also provide these countries with an analysis of these policies and recommendations for improvement, all in an effort to improve their trading abilities and opportunities. UNCTAD also benefits these countries by conducting technical assistance projects for the trade and the development of SDGs.
Even today, more than 78 crore people all over the world live in extreme poverty, as a result of being denied or deprived of the benefits of trade and commerce. Trade helps countries increase their value in the global economy. With a better economy in place, the country itself prospers and can provide for increased job opportunities and means of livelihood for its citizens. Increased job opportunities result in more people earning a living, thus saving them from extreme poverty.
The WTO has also launched the Aid for Trade initiative, which is dedicated to ensuring that people have the means and tools necessary for trade and commerce. Till date, the initiative has helped 146 countries by helping them improve their ability to trade with other countries.
It must be remembered that there are several imbalances that continue to fester in the trading infrastructure of several countries- a piece of information that may prove helpful to your MBA admissions service. However, if more and more countries participate in global trade, it will be possible to eradicate these imbalances and create a more equalized form of economy, where poverty has been reduced to a bare minimum. The UNCTAD and the WTO’s choice to implement the UN SDGs through the use of trade and commerce is a sound decision, considering the important role that trade has to play on the economy of most countries. It is only a matter of time before the success of this initiative is brought about on a more international scale.