Sumario: November 11, 2002: Statement by Mrs. Ditte Juul-Jørgensen, Representative of the European Community, on behalf of the European Union, on Trade and development. 57th Session of the General Assembly - Second Committee (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union-Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Associated Countries-Cyprus, Malta, and Turkey, as well as the EFTA country of the European Economic Area-Iceland, align themselves with this statement.
I refer to the statement made by Denmark on behalf of the EU and associated countries in the Second Committee debate on macroeconomic issues. We see trade as an integral part of macroeconomic policy issues, and wish to address trade in that wider context.
As stated on that occasion, we fully support the view that trade can foster growth to help promote development and reduce poverty. The EU is committed to trade liberalisation, and was a key proponent of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO. We remain committed to the timely conclusion of negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda, and to addressing comprehensively the issues contained therein, including those of particular relevance for development - whether in the realm of trade liberalisation or of rule-making.
We underline the commitments made in the Doha Ministerial Declaration, notably in terms of market access, in particular for products of export interest to developing countries, especially least developed countries. In addition, in recognising the importance of market access for the integration of developing countries in the world economy, the EU already provides preferential market access for developing country exports - as part of our GSP scheme through EBA, which grants duty-free and quota-free access for the LDCs, and through bilateral and regional agreements. Trade between developing countries and the EU shows their increased integration into the world trading system. Developing countries' exports to the EU have increased 15% per year on average since 1995, and represented 42% of total EU imports in 2000.
We remain convinced, however, that while trade is important to development and poverty reduction, market access alone is not sufficient. In order for trade to support development and poverty reduction, it must be backed by sound domestic policies as part of country-owned poverty reduction strategies. Trade policy and programmes for trade development should be part of these strategies. We recognise that external support is often needed for such strategies, as well as a supportive international regulatory environment. The multilateral trading system that is WTO, with the broad agenda that was agreed by WTO trade Ministers in Doha, is an important part of such international environment, and we must ensure that contributes to the greatest extent possible to development.
Trade-related technical assistance and capacity building to reduce supply-side constraints and to help countries participate effectively in trade negotiations are key elements of a wider strategy. The EU is committed to expanding its programmes of trade-related assistance in order to help countries benefit from trade. In September, the European Commission spelled out its suggestions on the way forward for the EU to deliver on its Doha and Monterrey trade capacity building commitments. EU trade and development Ministers are expected to follow up on this by adopting an ambitious trade and development strategy in the coming weeks.
The continued progress of the WTO Doha negotiations requires active participation and support by all Members. We call on the international community at large to support the development agenda in the WTO in the framework of closer cooperation, including by assistance to help developing countries benefit from the opportunities that trade liberalisation offers.
Thank you for your attention.