WTO Global Review of Aid for Trade: 8th to 10th July 2013, Geneva
In his welcoming remarks at a beer reception at the end of the first day of the World Trade Organisation Global Review of its Aid for Trade programme in Geneva, WBA Chair, Andy Tighe, highlighted the strong links beer has to local supply chains and the jobs generated from the production and sale of beer. From securing jobs for local farmers of quality barley, sorghum, cassava and rice through to investment and support for cafes, taverns and pubs serving local communities – 14 million jobs worldwide are generated worldwide of which hundreds and thousands are in Africa. He also reminded people that beer is the third most popular drink in the world after water and tea, and is still brewed with the care and a sense of the tradition and heritage in honour of those who first discovered it many centuries ago.
Aid for Trade is focused on helping developing countries (especially least developed countries) to build trade capacity and infrastructure. Due to their significant investment in value chains in Africa particularly, Two major brewers, SABMiller and Heineken were invited to participate in panel discussions to highlight these investments and an informal beer reception was co-hosted by the Worldwide Brewing Alliance and the four global brewers at the end of day one of the three day conference entitled “Connecting to Value Chains”.
The reception was attended by several hundred delegates including Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the WTO and senior representatives from Geneva missions, OECD, NGO groups and the UN.