Blair demands end to export subsidies

TONY BLAIR has demanded an end to agricultural export subsidies within five years.

In an article for the Financial Times on Mon (Sep 5) the Prime Minister said that failure to make progress at world trade talks in December could be “fatal” for the Doha round.

Talking of the importance of greater trade with developing nations Mr Blair said agriculture was the “key” to their future prosperity.

“In Africa, increased access to rich countries’ markets is an important way to deliver this.

“But there are many obstacles to overcome – high tariffs, quotas, subsidies and weak capacity,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the European Union had taken steps to improve the prospects for developing nations with the CAP reforms of 2003 – 04.

He added that the planned reforms to the sugar regime would bring further benefits as European surpluses will no longer be dumped on the markets of developing nations.