HC Deb 16 June 2003 vol 407 c1W
Mr. Caton

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what assessment the Department has made of the relationship between agricultural subsidies, export guarantees and the development of impoverished African nations. [119191]

Hilary Benn

The benefits to developing countries from the Doha 'Development' Round will depend on the final outcome at the end of the negotiations in 2005. A beneficial outcome for developing countries, including African countries, in the agriculture negotiations would need to address both domestic support and export guarantees. Reductions in currently high levels of trade-distorting support are necessary to address overproduction in the developed world and the swamping of world commodity markets, both of which are of interest to developing countries. Under export guarantees, more explicit rules on the terms of use of export credits and food aid, as well as reductions in export subsidies are needed to address the issue of dumping which is currently harming developing countries' local production and trade.

The UK is committed to ensuring real reductions in OECD agricultural subsidies, as well as to making progress in other areas of concern not only to African developing countries. These include improving market access for agricultural products and establishing fair rules for special and differential treatment to safeguard food security and rural development in Africa.

Forward to