30 June 2004


Trade liberalization and commitment to reforms have helped to enhance the economic environment

The liberalization of trade policies through the WAEMU (West African Economic and Monetary Union) undertakings, structural reform, and the intensified efforts to achieve macroeconomic stabilization have helped to enhance Mali’s economic environment. These reforms, together with a boom in gold production, enabled growth to accelerate, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Mali released June 30 by the WTO Secretariat.

The Secretariat’s report notes that Mali, one of the poorest of the least developed countries (LDCs), would increase the confidence of economic operators by completing the reforms under way and continuing its efforts to tackle the obstacles to governance. Although the authorities recognize the central role of trade as the basis for private sector development, the competitiveness of Mali’s goods and services is affected by the country’s landlocked situation and the high cost of inputs such as energy, water, communications, credit, and transport. One of the most significant obstacles to Mali’s economic development remains the lack of financial services.

Mali is among the sponsors of the sectoral initiative in favour of cotton at the WTO, whose aim is to eliminate the producer support policies and export subsidies that have led to generally declining prices on world cotton markets. Cotton is the principal cash crop for Mali’s farmers, although gold has displaced cotton as the country’s top export earner.

Mali is receiving trade-related technical assistance (TRTA) through the WTO to increase the capacity of government officials to participate in the WTO, and in particular the negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda. In addition, Mali is a beneficiary of the Integrated Framework and JITAP (Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme).

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Mali, will be the basis for the second Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Mali 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 Benin.

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 countries’ 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 WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s 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 Genève 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