HC Deb 16 June 2003 vol 407 cc5-6W
Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what assessment he has made of the possible benefits for developing countries resulting from the Fifth World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Cancun in September. [119003]

Hilary Benn

The 5th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Cancun this September will take stock of progress on delivering the `development' agenda for the "current" round of multilateral trade negotiations launched in Doha in November 2001. WTO Ministers will be required to take decisions on issues of critical importance to developing countries such as reform of global agricultural trade and what special treatment different developing countries should receive.

The benefits of the Doha round for developing countries will depend on the final outcome at the scheduled conclusion of the negotiations on 1 January 2005. It is widely acknowledge that multilateral trade reform can have significant benefits for developing countries. For example, the World Bank estimates that eliminating all barriers to trade in goods would generate an extra US$250 billion–-US$620 billion in global income, up to half of which would go to developing countries. In terms of poverty reduction, this could lift over 300 million people out of poverty by 2015.

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