HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 cc53-4WS
Mr. Gibb

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will assess the effect of full trade liberalisation by(a) all countries and (b) developed countries only on the distribution of welfare gains among (i) developed, (ii) non-least developed and (iii) least developed countries. [133416]

Hilary Benn

Estimates vary, but World Bank and IMF research shows that welfare gains from liberalising all trade range from US$250 billion to US$550 billion; one-third to two-fifths of these gains would accrue to developing countries. Because their economies are more highly protected, most studies find that developing countries gain more as a percentage of their GDP/GNP from liberalisation than industrial countries.

Low-income countries (a group that includes the least developed countries) gain most from industrial country liberalisation of agriculture, because of the greater relative importance of agriculture in their economies. In contrast, the larger and more advanced developing countries gain most from liberalisation in industrial goods because of the greater importance of manufacturing in their production and exports.

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