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International Development Committee
  House of Commons
7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA
Telephone 020 7219 1223
Fax 020 7219 2891
E-mail indcom@parliament.uk
Web site www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/indhome.htm

24 January 2003

Press Notice

Trade and Development: Aspects of the Doha Agenda

The International Development Committee recently announced that it is to conduct an inquiry into trade and development, to investigate aspects of the WTO's Doha agenda and member states' commitments to making this round of trade negotiations a ‘development round’. The Committee is particularly interested in addressing the question of who gains from trade and trade liberalisation, and what might be done to maximise the impact of trade on poverty reduction and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The Committee will produce a report, which will include policy recommendations for consideration by the UK Government and the Department for International Development.

The Committee is keen to receive evidence from a wide range of organisations with expertise and experience in the area of trade and development. We are particularly keen to hear about how trade, trade policy and capacity-building initiatives are experienced in practice; therefore, we positively welcome submissions from organisations based in, or with connections to, developing countries. Such organisations might include Governments, parliaments, non-governmental organisations, trade unions, consumer organisations, business organisations and others.

We would welcome especially submissions which address any or all of the following issues:

  1. Agricultural reform in the context of the Doha commitments
    • What impact do Northern agricultural export subsidies, and food aid, have on food security and livelihoods in developing countries?
    • What should be done to ensure that Northern Governments' policies in the areas of agriculture and humanitarian assistance do not conflict with the developmental needs of developing countries?

  2. Market access
    • What impact has the European Union's Everything-But-Arms initiative had on trade between developing countries and the EU?
    • How has the extension of preferential access to the least-developed countries affected other developing countries?
    • What would be the impact of reforming the EU-ACP sugar regime on developing countries as a whole, and on individual developing countries?
    • What are the key barriers which developing country exporters face in gaining access to Northern markets, and what could be done to reduce these barriers?

  3. Special and differential treatment
    • How might special and differential treatment, and particularly "development box" proposals within the WTO, assist poorer countries to become food secure, and to develop their productive capacities?
    • What has the experience of developing countries been in reducing or eliminating domestic subsidies, and in particular what has been the impact on the poor?

  4. The capacities of developing countries
    • What are the key constraints which developing countries face in playing a full and active part in international trade negotiations?
    • What should be done to enhance the negotiating capacities of developing countries, and to ensure that they have an effective voice in international trade negotiations, and what help have developing countries received in this regard?
    • What should be done to enhance the ability of developing countries to take advantage of increased opportunities to trade?
If you would like to make a submission which addresses an important trade and development issue but which falls outside of the areas outlined, please do feel free to make a submission. Similarly, organisations should not feel that they have to address all of the areas suggested. If an organisation has experience and expertise in a narrower area of trade and development, we would still be keen to hear from you.

Several examples of written evidence are available on the Committee's web-site at http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/international_development.cfm A guide for witnesses is available at There is no set format for submissions, but as a general rule, concise memos, possibly with a series of numbered points or clear sub-sections, are preferable. You may also wish to include policy recommendations and/or questions which might be put to the UK Government. Any memorandum of more than six pages should include a summary at the front.

The Committee is particularly interested in receiving comments from clerks of parliaments and parliamentarians of developing countries or committees with an interest in development issues. The evidence deadline was 20 January but the Committee would like to receive any new submissions. If possible please supply an electronic version in MS Word or Rich Text Format, either by e-mail to or on a disk. If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail. Oral evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

Detailed enquiries can be directed to Alan Hudson, Committee Specialist, on 44 (0)20 7219 1522 or Hudsona@parliament.uk.

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