Business Day - 18 October 2005
SOME commentators believe that countries should…just do it - when it comes to unilateral trade liberalisation. It is argued, perhaps correctly, that the World Trade Organisation negotiations have become too complex, with too many players, for significant liberalisation to occur through this…multilateral-process. The answer, apparently, is unilateral tariff reductions. The assumption behind this is that free trade will simply lead to higher growth. If only things were that simple.
In November 2001, leading politicians from the world's most powerful countries decided that allowing poor nations access to northern hemisphere markets was the best way to stamp out the root causes of militant anti-Western feeling.
Launched in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist atrocities, the Doha trade round was the chosen device. Poverty alleviation through profit was always seen as the key plank of the international development agenda - more important even than increased aid and debt write-offs.
Business Day - 5 January 2007
The trade and industry department says this will be a critical year for SA's trade negotiations in the international arena, marking out the country's parameters in international trade relations.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said yesterday these parameters would be determined by the outcome of talks on three trade treaties.
This involves the possible revival of the collapsed Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks; the further economic integration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC); and the economic partnership talks between the European Union (EU) and several southern African states.
The Guardian - 8 december 2006
The European Union is insisting that some of Africa's poorest countries accept liberalisation of services, investment and competition policy as the price of better access to the world's richest market, it emerged last night.
Under proposals being discussed in Brussels today, the European commission will say that unless the developing nations accept changes in sectors deemed too sensitive to be included in global trade talks, they will be denied better market access for their exports.