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Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte has called the attention of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to the plight of small vulnerable, highly indebted middle income countries such as Jamaica.
“Our needs are well known. We require greater flexibilities. We require Special and Differential treatment. We require the arrangements and mechanisms essential for us to attain our development goals.
“We must not be handicapped in our efforts to promote economic growth, poverty alleviation, social development, rural development and greater integration into the global economy,” Minister Malahoo Forte told the conference which last week discussed a range of matters pertaining to the work programme of the WTO including the Doha Round.
Noting that the much touted benefits of trade liberalisation had not materialised for some developing countries, the Minister pointed out that in the case of Jamaica, imports had grown disproportionately to exports.
The Minister told members of the WTO that “trade which does not result in development is meaningless. We are not trading simply for the sake of trading. We are trading to improve our wellbeing. This is the promise of Doha. We can and must deliver,” She declared.
The Minister reemphasised that Jamaica remains committed to a successful outcome of the Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations which the country had been fully engaged since their inception in 2001. If development was to be genuinely at the heart of the Round, she said, it could not simply be about greater market access as the demand for more market access by some would mean less development for others but more development for others would not translate into less market access for some.
Elaborating on the Doha Round, she said the challenge was how to successfully complete it by the target date of 2010 in the presence of disengagement and the absence of commitment by some major players.
Minister Malahoo Forte expressed Jamaica’s firm support for the Communiqu

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