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African Trade

Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made by the Whitehall Africa Trade Group in drawing up terms of reference for a G8 study of how to improve preferential access schemes in G8 countries. [113648]

I have been asked to reply.This study comparing the G8 preferential market access schemes for African and least developed countries is now underway and preliminary findings are expected in June. The study will aim to produce a basis for practical proposals on improving G8 market access for African goods by identifying which aspects of these schemes have the greatest impact on African exports and identify possible areas of trade related technical assistance that can help countries increase their utilisation of the schemes. The Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex is undertaking the research drawing on work by the World bank and UNCTAD on impacts of preferential market access schemes. The importance of the work was noted by G8 trade and development experts, meeting in Brussels in January, to discuss the G8 Africa Action Plan trade commitments.