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Agency heads cite importance of reducing trade costs to support growth and development

Published on July 01, 2015

In opening the Fifth Global Review, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said high costs arising from delays at the border and other obstacles “suffocate trade. They limit the gains from trade. Worse, the burden of high trade costs falls heaviest on the poorest countries, the smallest firms and the lowest income consumers.” 

“High trade costs disconnect the economy from international flows of goods and services,” he continued. “They therefore stifle creativity – the motor behind productivity that drives economic growth. We must find ways to further cut trade costs, lower trade barriers, reduce distortive subsidies, and increase people’s capacity to trade, so that the poorest can access more of the benefits that trade can provide.”

World Bank President Jim Kim said that despite some scepticism that trade helps the poor, “our best evidence suggests that, when countries are effectively integrated into regional and global markets, their poorest citizens can reap substantial benefits.” He cited China, Viet Nam and Cambodia as examples where targeted reforms and openness to trade have boosted exports and substantially reduced the number of extreme poor. Read more. Source | World Trade Organization


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