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Wto Agreements On Developing Countries

Another concern expressed by developing countries in recent decades has been the impact of anti-competitive practices by private companies that restrict developing countries` access to developed countries. For example, a recent UNCTAD report stressed the need to ensure that trade obligations and concerns are not thwarted by private anti-competitive practices and that there is convergence in the objectives and application of national competition policy to prohibit collusive cartels and tenders, it being understood that “most national competition policies still do not apply to restrictive business practices, which attract exclusively foreign markets. See footnote 18 For more information on least developed countries, visit the UNCTAD website (which will open in a new window). The composition of capital inflows has also changed considerably from region to region. While foreign direct investment accounted for more than 40 per cent of net capital flows to Asia in 1989-94, most flows to Latin American countries were portfolio investment, with foreign direct investment accounting for just over a quarter of capital flows to the region. See footnote 23 In anticipation of the discussion of “domestic factors” in the next section, it is evident that in some Latin American countries, high real interest rates have attracted significant portfolio investment and contributed to the increase in FDI inflows. In the wake of the Mexican peso crisis, the importance of more stable and longer-term capital inflows in the form of foreign direct investment has become evident again. The benefits of FDI inflows in the context of large-scale economic liberalization policies and privatization programmes may be less dramatic in the short term, but they improve long-term growth prospects. Portfolio flows have also been a major factor in the Middle East and Europe, including Egypt and Turkey, while foreign direct investment in this region has been minimal. In Africa, official tributaries are the dominant type of influx.

Agriculture remains the basis for Africa`s economic development, and its weakness underpins poor overall performance. Over the past 20 years, growth in agricultural production has lagged behind population growth by nearly one percentage point per year. This has resulted in increasing dependence on food imports and a decline in food exports (an average of 3 per cent per year) and a loss of up to 50 per cent of Africa`s overseas market share. .

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