News / 26 March 2013

Balancing aid and trade

Trade and aid are the new pillars of international cooperation. But does it make sense to link these two together? There’s nothing wrong with finding out whether trade and aid can complement each other, but let’s not overdo it.


According to minister Ploumen, the private sector has to play a leading role in the ‘development aid new style’ by encouraging sustainable economic development world wide. But the very same private sector  is often the cause of environmental problems, social injustice and poverty. Apparently, the Dutch government is confident that the policies of ‘private sector companies’ (big multinationals) regarding corporate social responsibility and sustainable economic development will change positively along the way. We don’t believe they will. Especially in times of economic crisis, when domestic economic growth is a number one priority, it will be difficult to find a balance between trade, aid and investments. The Fair, Green and Global Alliance therefore have compiled a report advising minister Ploumen on the ways in which Dutch trade can be beneficial to sustainable development in countries we invest in. 


Read more about the FGG Alliance initiative in the recently published article on ‘Trade and aid: a balancing act’


Read the full report: ‘Balancing aid and trade’


The FGG Alliance consists of six Dutch civil society organisations: ActionAid, Both ENDS, Milileudefensie, Clean Clothes Campaign, SOMO and the Transnational Institute. In its report the FGG Alliance advocates not only for binding standards for sustainability, but it also calls for the democratization of trade negotiations. The Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation should together with local organizations play the role of watchdog of the public interest.

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