note on the Doha Development Agenda
Doha and Monterrey declarations have been landmarks in the fight
against poverty. A central message is that aid and trade must go hand
in hand if the opportunities of globalization are to spread to the
most needy — the one billion and more of humankind living in
absolute poverty. Ensuring that poor people have every possible chance
to participate in trade, and directing our assistance to enable them
to do so, is not only morally right it also makes economic sense.
are pleased therefore that this week's gathering of OECD Ministers
will give special attention to trade and development. We hope that
Ministers will give impetus to the necessary actions to meet the
development objectives of the Doha agenda on time, within the next 30
months. And we encourage them to set out clearly how progress towards
these objectives will be monitored. Prospects for reform of
agricultural support policies and textiles regimes, toward
interventions that are less damaging to the economic opportunities of
the poor, are particularly important.
increase in protectionism by any country is damaging. Such actions
will hurt growth prospects where fostering growth is most essential.
And they are sending the wrong signal, threatening to undermine the
ability of governments everywhere to build support for market-oriented
reforms. How can leaders in developing countries or in any capital
argue for more open economies if leadership in this area is not
forthcoming from wealthy nations.
within the WTO framework of reciprocal liberalization is the best
guarantee for spreading the benefits of trade and anchoring them
within multilateral rules. But developing countries need not wait.
South-south trade in the 1990s grew faster than world trade and now
accounts for more than a third of developing country exports. Yet the
barriers to this trade are higher still than to trade with industrial
countries. Most of the benefits of liberalization derive from action
at home. Sound trade policies are rarely contingent on the policies of
should be aware that Doha marked the first time that the wealthy
countries committed to assist the developing world in building
capacity to better engage in the global trading system. It is
important that they follow through on this commitment.
remain confident that the commitments of Doha and Monterrey will carry
us towards a world trading system that empowers the poor. But we must
move beyond rhetoric, firmly resist protectionism, whatever its form
or justification, and promote policies that foster economic growth and
International Monetary Fund
World Trade Organization
James D. Wolfensohn
World Bank Group