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WTO's developmental dilemma

Norway is making a heroic effort to save the World Trade Organization (WTO). But to what extent is the WTO worthy of a rescue operation?

In connection with the WTO ministerial meeting in December, Norway once again marked itself as an eager supporter to save the organization from the void of irrelevance. Since the optimism of the 1990, the eagerness to liberalize world markets has faced many forms of resistance, and this puts the WTO at risk. I'm not just thinking about Brexit and Trump – African leaders have long criticized the WTO for failing to deliver results to the best of their citizens.

«Trade, not aid. Investments, not pity ”has been the main message of African leaders in recent decades. Nevertheless, the same leaders have been clear that they need political tools to turn investments into jobs. They want to use an active business policy to shape their "comparative advantages". They also need a meaningful market access to it. . .

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johan@afrika.no
Johan N. Hermstad is General Manager of the Joint Council for Africa.

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