There is no causal link between trade, growth and poverty alleviation. The main intervening variable controlling that relationship is a coherent government policy. International trade will only translate into economic growth and subsequently will offer chances to decrease poverty, if a country clearly identifies its trade interests and turns these into consistent policies and negotiation strategies. Moreover, financial and human resources have to be allocated to implement trade policies and the roles of different actors need to be defined. Aside from governments’ coherent policies, the critical elements for a successful trade policy are institutional capacities at all levels from trade analysis to the implementation of trade obligations, and the involvement of all relevant actors in the trade policy formulation process.

GFA concept and services

© | istockphoto The GFA trade capacity building concept aims at enabling developing countries to identify their trade objectives and to formulate related policies accordingly. GFA experts strive to support countries’ export expansion and diversification strategies and to assist them in strengthening national and regional trade-related institutions. The core competence of GFA teams is to enhance stakeholders’ capacities and to overcome identified barriers. Consequently, our wide-­ranging trade reform expertise takes into account the multiple dimensions of trading challenges:

Supply side

We assist developing countries to overcome manifold constraints by supporting, among other things, the transformation of enterprises and the modernization of ­customs administrations and services. Also, we help regional integration bodies, e. g. by improving public private dialog in order to facilitate intra-regional trade.

Demand side

GFA teams foster knowledge management on the requirements of export markets and advise developing countries and their companies on how to meet trade-related standards. This is crucial for the expansion of exports and its value added. Our services also include developing suitable export strategies, and strengthening public institutions in safeguarding proper product quality controls.

Institutions and human capacities

We support trade-related institutions in analyzing trade obligations and formulating respective strategies. Negotiating and implementing relevant agreements and modernizing trade laws contribute to GFA’s overall approach that a country’s trade strategy should be coherent with its overall development objectives. Our highly qualified and experienced experts and trainers possess solid interpersonal and intercultural skills, which enable them to develop and nego­tiate the optimal strategy in the respective context. GFA works towards the sustainability of its capacity building efforts through C³. This is a training platform based on an interactive adult education toolbox which certified local trainers have successfully applied in a variety of countries.


Dr. Mareike Meyn


English French Spanish