Saturday, June 25, 2005

IMF tells rich countries their cotton subsidies harm the world's poor :: The Peninsula

-QUOTE- Rich countries must end subsidies to their cotton producers if African countries which grow the crop are to lift themselves from the spiral of poverty, the head of the IMF said yesterday.

Rodrigo Rato, in an article for the French daily Le Figaro, said African countries had accepted the need to reform their cotton sectors, and the International Monetary Fund was offering them loans on concessionary terms to do so.

But he said they could not succeed so long as rich nations continued to drive down world prices with huge subsidies to their own cotton producers. "It goes without saying that Africa cannot get out of this situation alone," Rato said. "In the framework of the negotiations under way at the WTO (World Trade Organisation), industrialised countries urgently need to end the subsidies which distort trade." -UNQUOTE-

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