Developing Nations Prefer Fair Trade Than Foreign Aid

Manila Bulletin, March 17, 2004 | Go to article overview

Developing Nations Prefer Fair Trade Than Foreign Aid


Byline: DAVID CAGAHASTIAN

Developing countries prefer fair trade in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over foreign aid that rich countries offer, according to the Asian Parliamentary Analysis Network (APPAN) conference held in Manila last March 15-16.

In discussions held on the WTO issues regarding trade and non-trade barriers that developed countries impose on the products of developing countries like the Philippines, APPAN delegates stressed the importance of fair trade in eradicating poverty worldwide.

The conference sponsored by APPAN and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was aimed at educating parliamentarians on their roles in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations by 2015.

The APPAN delegates agreed to adopt a united front in lobbying for the abolition of trade barriers like subsidies provided by rich countries to their industries.

APPAN groups the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, China, India, and Vietnam, most of which are developing countries.

According to the Philippine Center for Legislative Development (PCLD), incoming APPAN Secretariat, the delegates have agreed that the WTO issues would require a unified action among the developing countries.

PCLD Executive Director Emmanuel Leyco said that while the APPAN is a relatively a new organization, the proposal to adopt a united front in negotiating in the WTO is a practical use for the APPAN.

Dr. Paul Oquist, Senior Governance Advisor for Asia of the UNDP, said that parliaments of developing countries should unite to muster more political will to lobby for better deals with developed countries in the WTO. …

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