30 June 2004


Commitment to reforms and further integration in the world economy raises hopes for poverty reduction prospects

Beninís recent economic performance, commitment to structural reform and efforts for closer integration in the world economy raise hopes of further success in its steps to alleviate poverty and achieve sustainable growth, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Benin released on June 30 by the WTO Secretariat, which also notes that consumer prices have fallen sharply to controlled levels since the previous review in 1995.

Beninís economy has been opened to new economic operators in certain activities but also to regional trade, thus boosting competition. The report notes major developments arising from Beninís undertakings within the WAEMU (West Africa Economic and Monetary Union) which is implementing a common trade policy among its members and has gradually liberalized intra-community trade. Since the first Trade Policy Review, the full implementation of the Common External Tariff of the WAEMU, which slightly increased Beninís MFN tariff protection, has led to a rise in tax revenue from import duties.

Benin (among the poorest LDCs) is one of the countries promoting at the WTO the sectoral initiative in favour of cotton, which advocates the phasing out of domestic support for production and of export subsidies, and the introduction of a financial mechanism to offset any consequent losses. However, Beninís reforms have not yet enabled a reduction of its dependence on cotton exports. The report adds that the benefits Benin could derive from access to markets at both regional and multilateral levels will not be fully realized until its economy is able to respond competitively to external demand.

The WTO has provided trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) to Benin to support the development of human resources, building of institutional capacity, the implementation of WTO Agreements and for participation in the Doha Development Agenda. Benin has also received technical assistance under the JITAP (Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme) and, as from 2004, the Integrated Framework.

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Benin, will be the basis for the second Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Benin by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 28 and 30 June 2004, which will take place at the same time as the review of Burkina Faso and Mali.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.


Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countriesí trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTOís full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRBís meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 GenŤve 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.


Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Belize/Suriname: 12 and 14 July 2004
European Union: 21 and 23 July 2004
Republic of Korea: 15 and 17 September 2004