13 Sep 2005

Fiji government says WTO poses threat to developing states

10:14 am on 13 September 2005

Fiji's prime minister says the trade regime introduced by the World Trade Organisation poses a clear and present threat to developing states like Fiji.

Laisenia Qarase says these threats include the loss of markets for trade and jobs in the sugar and garment industries.

The Daily Post reports that Mr Qarase has warned of great trouble ahead in small developing states should the WTO shut down their export markets.

Mr Qarase says Fiji's position is that without realistic world export and trade policies, good governance for developing countries becomes meaningless.

He warns that if small countries are shut out of markets, there will not be enough investment and foreign earnings, and the result will be great loss of jobs.

Mr Qarase says small countries will then face an increasing danger of instability, social breakdown, deepening poverty and more crime.

He says the WTO is trying to impose equality of trade in an unequal world, adding that there is no level playing field.