Sunday, August 03, 2008

Doha's Collapse isn't the End of Trade

Trade above almost all policy measures (including microfinance) after the implementation of property rights, can do more for the eradication of poverty. It's unfortunate but I get the sense that the political tides towards trade liberalization are shifting back towards protectionism (e.g. "fair trade").

Countries who continue to recognize the importance of trade in development however, still have much they can do beyond bilateral agreements (versus the one big massive multilateral one that was Doha) - starting by cutting the red tape with a few promising examples here (WSJ):

In the past three years, according to the World Bank, 55 countries have implemented 68 reforms to help streamline trading procedures. For example, India introduced an online customs declaration system that allows the customs clearance process to begin before the ship docks and has helped reduce delays for exporters and importers by seven days. Rwanda partially privatized its customs bonded warehouse facilities, sparking construction of new warehouses and a 40% reduction in storage fees.

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