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How the EU can help developing countries trade out of poverty

Written by Jodie Keane, Dirk Willem te Velde, Yurendra Basnett

As the proposed new EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, prepares for her hearing with the International Trade Committee on 29 September, Trade Out of Poverty and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) make suggestions for trade policy to look beyond EU commercial interests and stimulate economic growth in developing countries.

Trade Out of Poverty and ODI outline how the incoming EU Trade Commissioner can help the world’s poorest nations trade out of poverty in: 10 priorities for the EU Trade Commissioner.

Trade Out of Poverty co-chair Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP:
"It is both hypocritical and self-defeating for the EU to give aid to developing countries while simultaneously blocking their trade – especially as trade is such a crucial part of the route from poverty to prosperity.

The EU has taken welcome steps to remove barriers facing poor countries’ exports, but there is still much to be done. The EU’s trade with the poorest countries remains pitifully low and largely stagnant. They account for a seventh of the world’s population but only one fortieth of EU imports. The scope for growth is immense. The EU must recognise that expanding trade is a “win-win” tool that benefits rich and poor countries alike – the more the poorest countries can export to us the more they will buy from us.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Trade Out of Poverty is an all-party campaign, chaired by senior UK parliamentarians Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell MP, Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick, Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP and Rt Hon Clare Short, that aims to achieve for trade policy towards developing countries what popular campaigns did to persuade governments to commit to aid targets and drop debt relief.