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Tuesday, Dec 14, 2004

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UN suggests pref treatment for LCDs in the absence of textile quotas

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Dec. 13

THE United Nations has asked the less developed countries (LDC) to put in place necessary systems to face and tap opportunities when textile quotas go weeks away from now.

Dr Hafiz Pasha, Assistant Secretary-General of United nations and Regional Director (Asia and Pacific) of UN Development Programme, said that there were apprehensions that LDC countries might suffer. "There are concerns that countries lacking competitive edge might run the risk of losing out," he said.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday on the sidelines of the three-day Regional Forum on revitalising government in South Asia, he said though opportunities expand when quotas went, the problem was, who would gain and who would lose.

The UN suggested a three-pronged way to face the risks. While taking up short-term policies to preserve competitive advantage, they should go for medium-term policies to improve competitiveness through investing in infrastructure.

"The UN view is that some preferential treatment to the poor countries should be ensured so as to protect their interests," he said.

There should be no-quota-no-tariff treatment.

China and India could benefit from the emerging opportunities.

Dr Pasha said there was a decline in poverty in the region from one in three families in the early 90s to one in four families. But because of increase in population, numbers (of the poor) remained high at 750-800 million.

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