The Final Call Online Edition

FRONT PAGE | NATIONAL | WORLDPERSPECTIVES | COLUMNS
 ORDER VIDEOS/AUDIOS & BOOKS | SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSPAPER  | FINAL CALL RADIO & TV

-

WEB POSTED 10-08-2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Bank chief to rich nations:
'Stop cheating the poor'

NAIROBI, Kenya (PANA)—World Bank President James Wolfensohn called on developed nations to stop cheating poor countries and to make good their pledge to reverse protective trade policies that exacerbate poverty in developing countries.

"The agreement is simple: rich and poor countries have pledged to speed poverty reduction and progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, including urgent improvements in health and education levels for the world’s poorest people. Action on trade is one of the best places to start," Mr. Wolfensohn said in a statement ahead of the recently concluded Annual General Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund at their Bretton Woods Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Referring to the commitments made by the rich countries at global Summits in Doha (Qatar), Monterey (Canada) and Johannesburg in South Africa in 2001 and this year, he urged the rich countries to show leadership by example.

"They can lead by example now by reducing tariffs, subsidies, capricious product standards, protectionist anti-dumping actions and other impediments to developing countries’ efforts to compete in global markets," the World Bank chief said.

While the major trading nations such as the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada have taken steps to improve market access to exports from poor countries, many of the obstacles impeding such access were yet to be lifted, he said.

"Tariff peaks—exceptionally high tariffs on goods that poor countries are best able to produce—can be particularly pernicious. In the U.S., tariff peaks are concentrated on textiles and clothing, in Europe and Japan on agriculture, food and footwear," Mr. Wolfensohn said, adding that these were precisely the labor-intensive products that offer developing countries the first step up the technology ladder.

He estimates that tariffs and quotas for textile exports to developed countries cost developing countries some 27 million jobs.

"Every textile job in an industrialized country saved by these barriers costs about 35 jobs in these industries in low-income countries, where being a breadwinner literally means putting bread on the table," he said, pointing out that the high-income countries’ tariffs on food and clothing raise prices, straining the household budgets of low-income families.

"Escalating tariffs—duties that are lowest on unprocessed raw materials which rise sharply with each step of processing and value added—undermine manufacturing and employment in industries where developing countries would otherwise be competitive," Mr. Wolfensohn said.

For instance, he said, escalating tariffs in rich countries have confined Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to the export of unprocessed cocoa beans, Uganda and Kenya to the export of raw coffee beans, and Mali and Burkina Faso to the export of raw cotton.

The World Bank Chief criticized agricultural subsidies in rich countries amounting to some $350 billion a year—nearly one billion dollars per day—that undercut poor farmers in developing countries.

Recommend this article to a friend.
Your email: Recipient's email:

   

 


FRONT PAGE | NATIONAL | WORLD PERSPECTIVES | COLUMNS
 ORDER DVDs, CDs & BOOKS SEARCH | SUBSCRIBE | FINAL CALL RADIO & TV

about FCN Online | contact us / letters | Credits | Final Call Customer Service

FCN ONLINE TERMS OF SERVICE

Copyright © 2011 FCN Publishing

" Pooling our resources and doing for self "

External web links are not necessarily  the views of
The Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan or The Final Call