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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Doha: developing countries subject to the 'new stances of the rich'

Discussions on the ongoing Doha negotiations have once again taken place.  According to Sylvester Bagooro, from Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Africa), who has recently published an article on myjoyonline, the Ministerial Conference, held last December 2011,  ended “with no clear direction as to the future of the Doha negotiations”. 
He warns of the fact that developing countries usually find “their issues marginalized [ …] to give priority to issues of primary interest to the rich countries”, and which is “particularly manifest in the areas of agriculture, industrial products, and services,” when it comes to the Doha Work Programme. “In all these areas, the anti-development orientation of the negotiations so far has resulted in a situation where the proposals on the table will seriously impair the ability of African and other developing countries to build national/domestic productive capacity and develop their economies, ” he remarks.
He said that while  in the area of agriculture the developed countries have access to subsidies,    (which  “will be allowed to continue if the current proposals are agreed to”), developing countries are being asked to cut their tariffs, even more  than they did prior to the 1996 Round. “These subsidies continue to impoverish poor farmers and producers across the Continent, ” he stresses.
Mr Bagooro also says that although developing countries aim to counter dangers, “ new stances of rich countries”, namely the EU and the US,  complicate their try.

Source: Myjoyonline