Daily Nation (Kenya)
By Kaburu Mugambip
August 12, 2009
The government says that the country stands to benefit immensely from global trade if the stalled World Trade Organisation trade negotiations are concluded.
The WTO talks, also referred to as Doha Round and started in Qatar in 2001, aim at lowering trade barriers around the world to allow countries to increase trade globally.
Latest negotiations collapsed in July 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland ending hopes of a deal to free up global markets, cut farm subsidies and shore up the international trading system.
US, India and China failed to compromise over measures to protect farmers in poor countries given that rich nations provide subsidies to their agricultural producers.
Trade ministry permanent secretary, Cyrus Njiru on Wednesday told a meeting in Nairobi on Kenya’s readiness for the talks to be held in Geneva in November, that the country has substantial interest in seeing the successful conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations.
“The conclusion of the WTO negotiations will ensure that Kenya secures a bigger market share in the growth of world trade and also lead to positive impact on rural development,” he said.
“It is in this respect that Kenya fully supports the recent calls by global leaders to conclude the Doha Development Agenda negotiations by next year,” he added.
Africa’s performance in global trade has been dismal accounting for less than three per cent of the total world trade.
Supporters of the talks say the new round would give developing countries new export market opportunities.
Currently, developing countries are discouraged from processing their agricultural products because the more one processes, the higher duties they attract when entering developed countries under tariff escalation.
Consequently, such nations prefer exporting their products in raw form to avoid paying the high duties.