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Pulling the rug from under their feet:
How the World Bank and the IMF reduce developing countries Trade Policy options

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Years before the establishment of the World Trade Organization, international financial institutions had already started to shape the existing trade system through reforms attached to large structural adjustment loans. What do the policy reforms promoted by institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF mean for the ability of developing countries to negotiate advantageous trade and investment rules? What do the joint activities of the World Bank and IMF, working in tandem with trade agreements, mean for the options held by those countries ? How should civil society organizations factor these elements into their strategies?

The workshop will provoke dialogue on these broad questions as they affect two issues that are key to the ongoing Doha Round negotiations

Part I. The World Bank and the IMFs neglected roles in shaping the agricultural trading system. What are the different mechanisms by which these institutions influence trade policy options to protect food security, financial stability, reduce debt and promote development

Nancy Alexander, CNES
Oscar Ugarteche, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and LATINDAD
Sonny Africa, IBON (Philippines)

Part II. Aid for Trade. The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in trade-related technical assistance and capacity building activities led by the international financial institutions. The profile of the debate on these activities grew in the lead up to Hong Kong. What should be the role of technical assistance and capacity building vis-a-vis deep reform of the multilateral trade system? What should it include ? How should it be delivered and by whom? How should it be factored into trade negotiations?

This part of the workshop offers a space for a consultation on the Guidelines on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building being developed by the Working Group on Trade -Finance Linkages

Facilitator: Pam Sparr, Interaction
Liz Stuart, Oxfam GB

Date: 15th December
Time: 15:00 - 18:00
Place: Boys and Girls Club - Room 607, Hong Kong, China

Event URL:

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