The EU is due to adopt a simplified set of rules of origins for developing countries exports. Particular relaxations are foreseen for the least developed countries (LDCs), but the rules may mainly profit the strongest of them.
While the recovery from the financial and economic meltdown remains fragile in especially the developed world, the outlook for Africa inspires optimism, according to UNCTAD. The agency also believes the crisis might be the death- knell for the export-led economic growth model -- especially African countries should leave it behind.
While some believe that restrictions on natural resource exports should be done away with, this could cause an increase in such exports that would be detrimental to the environment and bad for development.
Intellectual property (IP) rights are a key reason for high medicine prices, rendering such medicines unaffordable and therefore out of reach for poor people. While mechanisms exist to circumvent IP, poor countries have been browbeaten into adopting stringent IP laws.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) agrees that the anti-counterfeit legislation that has been adopted or that is under consideration in East Africa threatens the accessibility of affordable generic medicines.
The Everything but Arms trade initiative, which provides preferential treatment to poor countries, benefits only a limited range of people in the target populations. It should also be expanded to more countries, civil society organisations say.
The new international cocoa agreement will provide a positive shake-up in the cocoa market and ensure better prices for stakeholders, including small farmers.
Sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures are a headache for African fish exporters but aid for trade may help small-scale fisherpersons to meet these standards.
Technology transfer and aid for trade could assist least developed countries (LDCs) suffering the effects of climate change. But negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are not helping to make this a reality, while aid for trade lands up at the wrong institutions, such as the World Bank.
The Group of 20 should show its concern about those that the global economic crisis "is leaving behind" by putting the plight of least developed countries on the agenda at its meeting later this month.
The global economic crisis highlighted the necessity of transforming global economic governance. But least developed countries (LDCs) have little voice in this process. It is time they are allowed a seat at the meetings of the Group of 20 industrialised and emerging economies.
The Washington Consensus is dead and the state must play a new role in development. The triple crises – economy, food and climate – show the need for a new developmental model as export-led growth and financial speculation in agricultural markets have proven to be disastrous.
Organic agriculture using natural farming methods rather than fertilisers and pesticides has made significant gains in African countries – not just among farmers but among consumers too.
Parts of the Tana Delta on Kenya’s northern coastline are being leased to foreigners to grow food and bio-fuels for export. Civil society organisations are worried about such deals as they are done without public consultation while safeguarding investors from requirements that could benefit local communities, such as technology transfer.
It is a "million dollar question" why African least developed countries (LDCs) would enter into economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with the EU as what remains of especially their agricultural markets will be overrun with subsidised European produce.
The contentious trade deals known as the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) will in their current form not do African countries any good as they still do not take those countries’ development needs into consideration, despite such an undertaking by the European Union (EU).
African cotton-producing countries hope that Brazil’s intended retaliation after its success at the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute settlement body will have a positive spin-off for them but seem reticent about pursuing a similar course of action against the U.S. for its continued use of subsidies in cotton production.
Governments expressed the will at the seventh ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to finish the Doha Round of trade negotiations as soon as possible. But the Africa Group still deems development to be a more important priority than a speedy conclusion.
African countries are ready to conclude the Doha Round on the basis of current proposals, but warn against any attempt to renegotiate them at the seventh ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that opens in Geneva today. Meanwhile, the Africa Trade Network demands a moratorium on the Doha talks.
Since before the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995, two groups of people have confronted each other: supporters of trade liberalisation, who regard the pursuit of growth as paramount, and opponents of trade liberalisation, who see unfettered trade as the cause of many socio-economic problems.
The consequences of the Doha Round of trade talks for larger developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa could include job losses and deindustrialisation if a new study forecasting how Kenya is set to be affected is anything to go by.