HC Deb 03 March 2004 vol 418 c928W
10. Mr. Quentin Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the significance for developing countries of completing the Doha trade round. [157880]

Hilary Benn

The benefits of the Doha round for developing countries will depend on the final outcome at the conclusion of the negotiations. This was originally scheduled for January 2005 but it is unlikely with the collapse of the WTO ministerial at Cancun that this deadline will be met. 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 to 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.

Nonetheless, while the reforms may lead to aggregate gains in a country's economic welfare, they inevitably create losers. As well as undertaking studies on the effects of trade reform on livelihoods and food security of the poor segments of the population in developing countries, DFID is working with a number of developing country partners and through the multilateral system to link the trade agenda within countries' own development strategies. The intention is to ensure that liberalisation is accompanied by other policies to help maximise the economic opportunities for all and mitigate adverse impacts on poor households.

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