Africa: Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference - the Stakes for Africa

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The creation of Free Trade Areas (FTAs) and the rapid growth of large emerging economies such as those of Brazil, India and China have changed the global market and shifted the basis of negotiations for concluding the Doha Development Round. There is uncertainty over whether the negotiating stance of the emerging economies will advance African interests. A strong African presence in World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations remains critical if Africa is not to be marginalised. A key African strategy should be to seek partnership with developed and emerging economies; Africa must accommodate partnerships with both groups and co-operate with them on the basis of common interests, such as trade facilitation and a least developed country (LDC) package, to influence the outcome of the WTO ministerial conference to its advantage.

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