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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Global trade is expected to shrink by 10 percent this year. That will make life even harder for poor countries. Delegates at a major conference in Geneva are reviewing one possible remedy: aid for trade. From the European Desk in London, Stephen Beard explains.
Stephen Beard: It’s a kind of stimulus package for the developing world financed by rich countries. The U.S., the E.U. and Japan have already pledged $25 billion a year to pay for it.
Keith Rockwell is with the World Trade Organization. He’s at the Geneva Conference. He says the money will be funnelled specifically into helping third world exporters:
Keith Rockwell: Maybe it’s improving ports. Maybe it’s a system which improves the Mekong River Delta transportation,communication links. Maybe it’s a highway project in eastern Africa connecting countries north and south.
The head of the World Bank Robert Zoelleck is at conference and he’s warning of the dangers of protectionism. He says more and more governments are trying to shelter their own workers from unemployment by restricting trade. Import taxes and other barriers have been rising. Zoelleck says this could aggravate the global downturn.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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