labels: economy - general, trade
Trade curbs cost poor nations double the official development aid: Indianews
18 October 2006

Mumbai: High tariff, specific duties and non-tariff barriers in developed countries are hampering industrialisation of the developing nations, India''s ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen told a UN committee. Non-tariff barriers alone cost the poor countries $100 billion, almost twice the current level of official development assistance, Sen pointed out.

By refusing to reduce agricultural subsidies, the developed nations, he said, are trying to entrench imbalances and inequities in the international trading system.

Sen warned the rich nations against restrictive practices in agriculture, which has vital ramifications for developing countries. "Food security and rural livelihood are of immense economic relevance and have a socio-political dimension in many developing nations," he said.

The developed nations have not fulfilled the understanding given when agriculture was brought into the multilateral trade negotiations that ''trade distorting'' subsidies would be phased out in a definite timeframe, Sen said minimising vulnerabilities of poor farmers should be the world''s collective priority.

A trading system, which displaces low income and subsistence farmers to satisfy commercial interests of the rich nations cannot be supported, he said. He demanded market access to low income farmers from poor countries in the developed markets. Sen also stressed on the overarching principle of special and differential treatment which, he said, is a categorical imperative and the underlying basis of the position of developing nations.

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Trade curbs cost poor nations double the official development aid: India