By Alasdair Charnock
The World Bank President, Robert Zoellick made some very interesting comments this week about the role that trade can and should have in the global economic recovery.
He said: “…opening trade drives growth. It is the best driver of structural forms that the world has seen. We have seen it with proven effectiveness all throughout the past 60 or 70 years. So, why not revive Doha?”
Why not revive Doha? I think one of the key messages that comes from this is that individual countries must stop acting in their own interests. Whether developed countries are trying to reverse an economic downturn or whether developing countries are trying to ‘catch them up’ or at least escape poverty, we are talking about global issues and global problems that not only affect everyone but are in everyone’s interest to resolve. Not to mention the moral and ethical obligations.
It would undoubtedly help if we could reach a successful conclusion of the Doha Round of trade talks which have been going on for ten years and were supposed to be geared to the needs of the developing countries. They depend on everyone agreeing to everything. But there is no need to wait for that. The sort of measures for which Trade Out of Poverty is campaigning will achieve far more than Doha and can be introduced unilaterally by the EU and other developed countries now without waiting for unanimity and with no need to demand that poor countries reciprocate by opening their markets to us.
A successful conclusion to Doha is desirable, but Trade Out of Poverty believes that our aims can be introduced unilaterally by the world’s develoeped countries without waiting for the unanimity of the Doha Development Round.