Trade is one of the most effective tools to help people rise from poverty and misery. Through trade agreements and trade programs, the EU has been able to promote sustainable development and growth, and help those countries that are economically inferior to us, especially in Africa, South America and Asia.
In the last two decades, we have succeeded in halving the extreme poverty in the world through trade. Only China’s trade with the rest of the world has lifted almost one billion people from extreme poverty. We have seen how emerging economies have taken a key role in the global market, which clearly shows the potential of trade-driven growth to lift millions of people out of poverty.
Every year, the EU imports goods for over one billion euros per year from developing countries, making the EU the largest and most open and accessible market for developing countries. Those who seriously want to show solidarity with people in developing countries should be in favour of eliminating barriers to trade with these countries.
Of course, demolishing trade barriers alone is not sufficient. In order for even the least developed countries to be able to benefit from the free trade profits, basic institutional conditions must be in place.
Through the Aid for Trade initiative the EU helps developing countries to build up trading capacity and infrastructure, which empowers them with enough means to trade. In this way, the EU ensures that all involved wins on free trade!
Trade can also be used as a means of spreading democratic values, which in turn improves people’s quality of life around the world. The EU is the world’s biggest trading partner and in the future we should continue to use trade as a tool for eradicating poverty and spreading democratic values.