Making trade more development-friendly
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CTA. 2002. Making trade more development-friendly. Agritrade, August 2002. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52712
Speaking in the UK House of Commons on June 27th 2002 EU Trade Commissioner...
Speaking in the UK House of Commons on June 27th 2002 EU Trade Commissioner Lamy sought to set out how the EU could make its trade policy more development friendly. Lamy acknowledged that 'trade liberalisation has not benefited all regions of the world or all layers of society in an equal manner', but he expressed the view that 'the key to success lies first and foremost with the domestic policies of the developing countries themselves …. sound domestic policies are indispensable to create the stability predictability and security that is needed to stimulate investment'. This being said, he acknowledged that this 'does not absolve developed countries from their responsibility for supporting sound policies'. He acknowledged how developed countries need to 'provide more access for products in which developing countries have a comparative advantage and which are produced in respect of core labour standards and environmental provisions'. The Commissioner asserted that WTO rules allow for progressive liberalisation at a pace which each country can handle. He recognised, however, the need for 'flanking policies' which support economic development, implying that if the wider policies are right then investment and technology transfers will flow. Finally, Lamy pointed out that the EU was looking to go beyond existing WTO commitments in the EPA negotiations with ACP countries Comment: Domestic policies will always be the foundation of ACP development. However, even where domestic policies are sound and an investment-friendly climate is created, the promised benefits arising from trade liberalisation may not materialise. This may be because of the intrinsic supply constraints which inhibit competitive production in many ACP countries but also because of the distortions which exist as a result of public aid programmes to the agricultural sector in OECD countries. . Significantly, Commissioner Lamy made little or no reference either to the need for comprehensive programmes of assistance to ACP developing countries to help them address the supply-side constraints on competitive production, or on the need for fundamental reform of agricultural programmes in OECD countries in order to remove the negative effects they have on developing country producers.