Skip to main content
International Partnerships
News announcement17 April 2024BrusselsDirectorate-General for International Partnerships1 min read

Global Gateway: EU remains the leading global provider of Aid for Trade

The European Union remains the world’s biggest contributor of Aid for Trade, committing over €18 billion in 2021, finds the latest EU Aid for Trade Progress Report published today. This amount represents 47% of all Aid for Trade originating from bilateral and multilateral sources, sustaining the growth trajectory from a 33% contribution in 2018.

European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “Trade can be an important accelerator for development. The EU’s traditionally done very well on this front, and I am happy to see that we are once again a top Aid for Trade contributor. Through our Global Gateway investment strategy, we work to create enabling environment for trade and sustainable growth.

The EU’s Aid for Trade policies aim to promote sustainable growth in partner countries and assist them with their integration into the global economy. Programmes funded by the EU are complemented by the very generous General System of Preferences scheme and asymmetrical trade agreements that give broad market access to exporting partner countries.

As of June 2023, 123 partner countries and territories that are eligible for EU official development assistance have preferential access to the EU market, 62 through a preferential trade agreement in force, and 61 through one of the three unilateral EU preferential trade schemes under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. Only 19 partner countries have no preferential or reciprocal trade preferences with the EU.

Geographically most EU Collective Aid for Trade goes to Africa, followed by Asia and Europe.


The EU's Aid for Trade strategy helps partner countries better integrate into the global trading system and take greater advantage of the poverty-reducing benefits of economic openness and enhanced trade efficiency. Revised in 2017 to follow a broader approach, it considers the interlinkages that exist between investment and trade, which need to be fully exploited to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The EU Trade Policy Review – An Open, Sustainable and Assertive Trade Policy, adopted in 2021, includes several priority areas related to trade with developing countries, such as promoting responsible and sustainable value chains, as well as strengthening the EU’s partnerships with Africa.

The EU Aid for Trade Progress Report 2023 is the sixth report under the updated EU Aid for Trade strategy.

More Information

Aid for Trade Progress Report 2023

Global Gateway


Publication date
17 April 2024
Directorate-General for International Partnerships