Letter: Trade in misery

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Diane Coyle's observation that "trade is not just the best way, but the only path out of poverty for a developing country" is confirmed by Ed Mayo's riposte (Right of Reply, 30 November). Mr Mayo calls for "fresh alternatives" to trade liberalisation, yet gives no hint of what they might be.

Presumably he cannot mean the route favoured for 30 years by, for example, India or Tanzania - autarky, import substitution and hostility to foreign investment - for the outcome has been economic stagnation and poverty. If he has discovered a route out of poverty that is more effective than that followed over the same period by, for example, Hong Kong - integration into the global economy, with consequent growth in output and productivity - he should say so.

In the meantime, those concerned with Third World development will be wishing the WTO summit success.


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