Former Minister of Commerce to Address WTO’s 9th Global Review of Aid for Trade

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Former Minister of Commerce to Address WTO’s 9th Global Review of Aid for Trade
Former Minister of Commerce to Address WTO’s 9th Global Review of Aid for Trade

Africa-Press – Liberia. Liberia’s former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel Addy, is expected to address the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ninth Global Review of Aid for Trade.

Addy, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of ECOCAP Investment Group, LLC, an investment and development advisory firm headquartered in Maryland, USA with an office in Monrovia, will be presenting on a topic: “Why Trade Development Strategies Fail”.

His presentation is expected to provide critical insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with trade development strategies. The Ninth Global Review of Aid for Trade will also address pressing issues such as food security, digital connectivity, and transitioning to a greener economy.

The event is scheduled to take place from June 26-28 at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s theme, “Mainstreaming Trade into Development Strategies,” will explore how the US$687 billion mobilized through the Aid-for-Trade Initiative has supported developing and least-developed economies in participating more fully in global trade.

The review will also assess additional measures needed to leverage trade for economic growth, development goals, and resilience against future shocks, with special emphasis on food security, digital connectivity, and transitioning to a greener economy.

Addy brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the event. As the current CEO of ECOCAP Investment Group, LLC, and former Minister of Commerce and Industry of Liberia, Addy has been a pivotal figure in international trade policy, government, and business climate reforms. His insights are particularly valued in the realm of trade development strategies aimed at improving SME competitiveness in developing and emerging markets.

Addy’s role as a thought leader on trade policy innovations for developing countries has been marked by his guidance on trade and market intelligence research and reforms that enhance trade facilitation and business inclusion in national development plans.

His leadership was crucial in Liberia’s historic accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), where he led a diverse team of local and international experts, including deputy ministers, lawyers, senior economists, and trade advisors, to successfully conclude the negotiations.

Throughout his career, Addy has demonstrated exceptional program management and strategic planning skills.

He has mobilized and managed over US$50 million in funding from a variety of sources, including the government, UN, World Bank, USAID, Global Fund, SIDA, JICA, EIF, and AfDB, adhering to stringent UN rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines.

In alignment with Liberia’s national development plan, the Agenda for Transformation and Vision 2030, and the country’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), Addy supervised the drafting and passage of Liberia’s Small Business Empowerment Act (SBEA).

This legislation established the country’s first Department of Small Business Administration, which plays a critical role in fostering inclusive economic growth.

Under Addy’s leadership, the SBA’s annual work program and budget were designed, and various export strategies were implemented. Notably, he spearheaded the creation of the Liberia Innovation Fund for Entrepreneurs (LIFE) and the 25% public procurement set aside for SMEs, which led to over US$80 million in contracts and investments directed towards small and medium enterprises.

His extensive background in managing large-scale projects and his commitment to sustainable development will offer valuable perspectives on how to overcome obstacles and achieve more effective trade integration.

Addy’s participation in the WTO’s Ninth Global Review of Aid for Trade underscores his significant contributions to international trade policy and development.

His leadership in both national and international initiatives has positioned him as a key figure in discussions on integrating trade into development strategies to achieve broader economic and social goals. The global community eagerly anticipates his insights and recommendations on enhancing trade development strategies to foster economic growth and resilience in developing and least-developed economies.

Meanwhile, The event will be opened by the WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the OECD’s Secretary-General, Mathias Cormann; as well as the Hon. Kerrie Symmonds, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Barbados. The list of other high-level speakers is available here.

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