International trade: An open debate

By fostering growth and reducing poverty, trade can contribute to development, affirmed Pascal Lamy, the European Commissioner for Trade, interviewed by EuropeInfos, the monthly magazine of the Catholic European Study and Information Centre (OCIPE). While preparing for the next summit of African and the European Union leaders, Mr Lamy maintains free trade alone cannot eradicate poverty but needs to be supported by other policies. Conventional wisdom holds that improved market access to developed countries would be useful for developing countries striving to eradicate poverty. 

Andreas Gösele SJ of the Institute for Social Policy in Munich (Germany) agrees: Open foreign markets, — he says, — are an opportunity for developing countries which can be used for the fight against poverty. The one-sidedness is important: if developing countries can get improved market access only through concessions in the World Trade Organisation negotiations, then the advantages might easily be lost. But there are authoritative radical voices from the South, like Walden Bello and Vandana Shiva, who fiercely deny this. 

To exchange information and opinions on this topic, please contact Fr. Gösele.