The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) — a multi-donor programme to support trade-related capacity development of least developed countries (LDCs) — plans to mobilise $320 million in the next phase, from 2016 to 2022.

EIF — initiated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Trade Centre (ITC) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) — has mobilised $195 million till date since 2009. By the end of the first phase of the programme (2009 to 2015) the mobilised amount from its 23 donors is expected to reach $202 million, according to EIF Executive Director Ratnakar Adhikari.

As its board has decided to extend the programme for another six years, EIF has scheduled a pledging conference on December 14, in Nairobi of Kenya. EIF’s board includes three representatives from aid recipient countries and rest from the donors.

As per Adhikari, Norway is the only donor that has already pledged $20 million for the next phase of the programme. India, Saudi Arabia and other newly emerged donor countries have also been extended invitations to participate in the pledging conference.

Currently, 48 LDCs and three recently graduated countries have been enjoying EIF’s support as a catalytic resource to boost trade competitiveness of their respective countries. EIF can extend its support for up to five years after a country graduates from the LDC status.

Nepal is one of the beneficiaries of EIF. It has enjoyed EIF’s support of $1.5 million for the capacity enhancement of trade-related institutions under Nepal Enhanced Capacities for Trade and Development (NECTRADE) project in two phases — $0.9 million (2010 to 2014) and $0.6 million (2015).

EIF has been extending support to boost capacity of trade-related institutions, which is called tier 1 support and development of niche products under tier 2 programme. Nepal is also enjoying support for three products under tier 2 programme, namely, ginger, pashmina, and medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs). These products are identified as the products with comparative and competitive advantages under Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS), 2010.

Quality enhancement of ginger is being implemented by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) utilising EIF’s support worth $0.7 million. Likewise, pashmina which is being promoted by International Trade Centre through Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support project (PETS) has been mobilising EIF’s support worth $1.86 million. Similarly, EIF has been extending $3.9 million for product development of MAPs that is being implemented by GIZ Nepal, German International Cooperation Agency.

The government has been also reviewing the NTIS document to make it more contextual and add other products and services that have niche advantages. NTIS, 2010 has incorporated 12 products and seven services of competitive and comparative advantages.

The country receives EIF’s support based on NTIS document.