Trade and Finance Linkages

Since 2002 RBW has been researching and monitoring the intersection between trade and financial policies. While it directed its initial inquiries into the “policy coherence” agenda of international financial and trade institutions its efforts have gradually evolved into a more sophisticated and bottom-up approach to understand the linkages between trade and finance at global, regional and local levels.

In the context of such efforts RBW founded the International Working Group on Trade-Finance Linkages. The mission of the Working Group is to bring together organizations North and South to promote trade and finance policies on the basis of a paradigm that links such policies in the service of development premised on human rights, gender equality, social justice and ecological goals.

The objectives pursued by the group are to:

  1. Support the capacity of civil society organizations to understand the connections between trade and finance in ways that effectively serve their contextual advocacy agendas.
  2. Build a common advocacy platform to link trade and financial policies in ways that support greater autonomy for local and national constituencies and governments to develop and implement their own policies
  3. Expand an informed community of activists, researchers, academics and policy-makers which can, in turn, raise awareness among the general public, grassroots and social movements in support of concerted and sustained efforts that achieve the aforementioned objectives.

The Working Group now brings together over 350 organizations from both trade and financial background, North and South. It is steered by a Volunteer Steering Committee which meets every 2-3 months via conference calls and is, at this point, flexible and open to anybody from the larger working group willing to volunteer extra time to take part on it. However, deliberate efforts went into ensuring the constitution and involvement of Southern regional platforms that could provide an organic and sustained input into the direction and leadership of the Working Group, through their own deliberations and participation in the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee of the International Working Group is currently composed of the following organizations and networks:

Action Aid International
African Development Interchange Network
Bretton Woods Project (UK)
ReCommons (Italy) (formerly listed as Campaign for the Reform of the World Bank)
Center for International Environmental Law
Center of Concern
Comision Nacional de Enlace (Costa Rica)
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era
Focus on the Global South
Genero y Comercio Latinoamerica
Heinrich Boell Foundation – Washington Office
IBON (Philippines)
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Institute for Policy Studies – Global Economy Project
Institute of Law and Economics (Jamaica)
Kenya Debt Relief Network
Kulu –Women and Development (Denmark)
Latin American Network on Debt and Development
New Rules for Global Finance
Oxfam International
Reality of Aid
REBRIP (Brazil)
RMALC (Mexico)
Social Watch
Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Initiative
Third World Network
Third World Network Africa
Uganda Manufacturers’ Association

(This list does not include other organization and networks that are currently on leave from the committee, as well as non-institutional members -- academics and non-affiliated individuals acting in advisory capacity. A full list is available from the coordinator upon request).

For more information, to sign up for the listserv and/ or join the calls please e-mail

RBW also has provided extensive capacity-building to governments, civil society organizations and grassroots, as well as fostered dialogue and reflection on these issues by a broad range of stakeholders.

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