Trade and investment-driven growth for developing countries
Delivered in Plenary - 16th April 2013
I am very honoured, thank you. Everybody in this House should be in favour of boosting trade for the benefit of developing countries and the least-developed nations of this planet, and this report has much to recommend it. Several passages rightly address the need to boost access to major markets by improving, for instance, good governance and economic diversification. I also welcome the paragraphs on investing in LDC infrastructure in order to enable local and regional trade integration amongst the poorest countries. However, like the Svensson report, there are far too many strings attached to make this a fully-viable contribution to trade and development.
I am uneasy, in particular, about the extension of already-strong social, labour and environmental provisions. Some of the proposed measures will help the richer developing countries, which are paradoxically now rapidly becoming our competitors. Therefore, despite the many worthy principles of the report, I will be abstaining on this occasion. However, I look forward to seeing future INTER reports which promote prosperity for the world’s poorest people without imposing excessive red tape, regulation or protectionism.