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AuthorUnited Nations Conference on Trade and Development
TitleWays to Enhance the Production and Export Capacities of Developing Countries of Agriculture and Food Products, including Niche Products, such as Environmentally Preferable Products
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 2001
Connect tohttp://161.200.145.45/docs/en/c1em15d2.en.pdf
Descript 19 p

SUMMARY

The report was prepared as a background note to an expert meeting. It reviews ways in which developing countries can exploit export opportunities in agricultural products in a situation of increasingly competitive and complex international markets. Comparative advantage, which often rests with developing countries, is not always allowed to determine trade patterns. Developing countries can seize the export opportunities offered by rapid demand growth for organic food and other niche products if certification requirements in export markets can be met and market access is facilitated.International trade in food and agricultural products offers significant export opportunities to developing countries. Exploiting these opportunities is especially important for many of these countries, in particular African countries and LDCs, because agriculture is the mainstay of their economies. Success, however, is not easy. World markets are increasingly competitive and exigent, with a multitude of standards to be met. Skills required in both production and trade are becoming more and more complex. This is true for both the public and the private sectors. In most cases, their upgrading necessitates international cooperation. Moreover, agriculture is the last bastion of protectionism. Comparative advantage, which often rests with developing countries, is not always allowed to determine trade patterns. Rapid demand growth for organic food in developed countries is likely to create temporary supply-demand gaps, of significant magnitude at times, that can be bridged by supply from developing countries. Such short-term opportunities can, however, only be seized if certification requirements in export markets can be met and market access is facilitated. As long as developing country producers retain significant production cost advantages, based on lower labour costs or natural production factors (such as a longer vegetation period that allows several harvests), they might be able to consolidate market shares gained in the short term. This note does not aim to provide an extensive analysis of all the issues involved, but to identify important issues that could be addressed by experts participating in the meeting


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International Institute for Trade and Developement : UNCTAD CollectionTD/B/COM.1/EM.15/2CHECK SHELVES

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