FTAs, Regional Blocks and Equity – who will
represent the voiceless in trade
Arguments around Free Trade
Against
1. Only a specific class of people can take advantage of free
trade – those already gl...
Evidence from Developing Countries

• Trade only reduces poverty if there is job
creation
• Trade liberalization in the in...
Situation Analysis
• Curtailing trade is not a choice
• Consumer demand forces informal trade if
formal channels are close...
Regionalism and FTAs
• FTAs being signed in the absence of progress on WTO
• Criticism by business community
– Governments...
How FTAs impact voiceless
•
•
•
•

Negotiating non-tariff barriers is difficult
Hidden subsidies are not easy to recognize...
Where is the trade-related infrastructure?

Afghanistan
Bhutan
Bangladesh
India
Pakistan
Maldives
Sri Lanka
Nepal

Efficie...
Way Forward
• Who will represent the voiceless in trade?
– Government
– Private Sector
– Civil Society Organizations
– Com...
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FTAs, Regional Blocks and Equity – who will represent the voiceless in trade

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FTAs, Regional Blocks and Equity – who will represent the voiceless in trade

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  • FTAs, Regional Blocks and Equity – who will represent the voiceless in trade

    1. 1. FTAs, Regional Blocks and Equity – who will represent the voiceless in trade
    2. 2. Arguments around Free Trade Against 1. Only a specific class of people can take advantage of free trade – those already globally integrated (includes rich and poor). 2. Those industries which are producing domestically demanded goods face a shutdown. Favour 1. Why go through the traditional structural transformation? 2. Service-led growth is also labour intensive 2
    3. 3. Evidence from Developing Countries • Trade only reduces poverty if there is job creation • Trade liberalization in the initial phases leads to increased income inequalities 3
    4. 4. Situation Analysis • Curtailing trade is not a choice • Consumer demand forces informal trade if formal channels are closed 4
    5. 5. Regionalism and FTAs • FTAs being signed in the absence of progress on WTO • Criticism by business community – Governments started negotiating without taking businesses on board – Industry concerns beyond market access including investment and services should be incorporated – Involve businesses in the annual review of FTAs • What about other voices? – Consumer groups in developing countries lack capacity 5
    6. 6. How FTAs impact voiceless • • • • Negotiating non-tariff barriers is difficult Hidden subsidies are not easy to recognize Countering undervalued imports is difficult Developing countries will require assistance in complying with trade regulations • Dispute settlement arrangements and compensatory mechanism 6
    7. 7. Where is the trade-related infrastructure? Afghanistan Bhutan Bangladesh India Pakistan Maldives Sri Lanka Nepal Efficiency of customs clearance process 2.33 2.29 2.33 2.77 2.85 2.24 2.58 2.20 Note: (1=low to 5=high) Source: World Development Indicators 2013 Quality of trade and transport-related infrastructure 2.0 2.3 2.49 2.87 2.69 2.47 2.5 1.87 Competence and quality of logistics services 2.16 2.42 2.44 3.14 2.77 2.68 2.8 2.12
    8. 8. Way Forward • Who will represent the voiceless in trade? – Government – Private Sector – Civil Society Organizations – Community Boards • We still don’t have an answer 8

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