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Fair Trade

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what initiatives he will bring forward at the September World Trade Organisation's ministerial meeting in Mexico in order to promote trade for poor countries; and if he will make a statement. [118303]

The EU is committed to giving developing countries better trading opportunities through greater access to both its agricultural and non-agricultural markets by reducing tariff barriers, tackling all forms of export subsidies and substantially reducing trade-distorting domestic support. The Government are working with its partners, both in the EU and internationally, to ensure that developing countries gain real benefits from the Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations. Critical to this effort will be securing a successful outcome at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun in September. This will require real progress on the issues that matter most developing countries such as agriculture, TRIPS and public health, and special and differential treatment.In addition, the Government are funding a variety of initiatives to help developing countries to set their own trade policies to reduce poverty. This includes improving developing countries' ability to negotiate favourable deals in trade negotiations, helping them interpret trade agreements, and supporting them in taking advantage of new international trading opportunities. To this end, the government have committed £45 million to trade-related capacity building since 1998.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development whether he will meet a delegation from CAFOD to discuss Trade Justice during the week commencing 23 June 2003. [118304]

DFID is hosting an open day to discuss trade and development issues on 26 June 2003. All members of the UK Trade Network—a grouping of non-governmental organisations working on trade and development issues of which CAFOD is a member— have been invited. I will be speaking to members of the UK Trade Network during the morning session and hope to meet the CAFOD delegation then.