HL Deb 10 December 2001 vol 629 cc171-2WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they support the World Bank's call to the European Union to extend its decision to remove barriers to imports of most products from the current 48 poorest countries of the world to the further 70 low-income countries, including India, Pakistan and Indonesia, possibly routed through the Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative. [HL1649]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville

Like the World Bank, the UK, working as part of the EU, strongly supports the increased liberalisation of trade, which we believe will be broadly beneficial to all developing countries. Hence our welcome for the recent WTO Ministerial Declaration at Doha, launching a development-focused trade round, which should remove barriers to developing country exports and so offer the best route for the developing world to escape from poverty. We particularly welcome the commitment on the part of all WTO members to the objective of duty-free, quota-free market access for products originating from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which encourages other WTO members to match the EU's EBA initiative. This already allows tariff-free imports for everything but arms, bananas, rice and sugar from LDCs.