Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva: Free trade is not only for the rich

From A. Speech,The President
Tuesday 28 January 2003 01:00

In Davos, it has become customary to say that there is only one god: the markets. But the freedom of the markets has as a basic assumption the freedom and the security of citizens. I have reassured the Brazilian people of our will to accomplish major political, social and economic reforms. Nevertheless, the Brazilian economy will never fully reach its objectives without important changes in the world economic order. We want free trade but a free trade that is characterised by reciprocity.

All the exports we develop will be useless if the rich countries continue to preach free trade on one side but practise protectionism on the other. We can't have free trade just for developing countries.

There is no point in investing if, when you export, you face enormous barriers. Building a new international economic order with more fairness and democracy is not only an act of generosity but, more importantly, it is also an act that is politically intelligent.

I invite everyone at Davos to look at the world differently; it is absolutely necessary to build a new world economic order to meet the demands of billions of people who live at the margin of the technological and scientific advances that human beings are capable of producing.

We do not want to be treated as second-class citizens. We want to be treated in equal terms. We give respect and we like to receive respect too. The rich countries of today are only rich because they had historical opportunities. If you want to be coherent with the marvellous experiences you've had, you should not build hurdles for developing countries.

Now is the time to show that we have courage. You're going to be hearing a lot in the future about a tough president.

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