Table of Contents

Handbook on Trade and Development

Handbook on Trade and Development

Edited by Oliver Morrissey, Ricardo Lopez and Kishor Sharma

This Handbook comprehensively explores the complex relationships between trade and economic performance in developing countries. Insightful chapters cover issues such as trade, growth and poverty reduction; trade costs, facilitation and preferences; sub-Saharan Africa’s reliance on trade in primary commodities, informal cross-border trade, agglomeration and firm exporting; imported technology, exchange rates and the impact of firm exporting; the increasing importance of China in world trade and links between FDI and trade. This Handbook provides an essential overview of trade issues facing developing countries.

Chapter 6: Trade preferences from a policy perspective

Maria Persson

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, international economics


Focusing on North–South trade relations, this chapter explores non-reciprocal trade preferences for developing countries, where the preference-receiving developing countries are not expected to make market access concessions to the preference-giving developed countries, from a policy perspective. The chapter offers a comprehensive overview of legal and economic aspects of non-reciprocal preferences, in particular on how the specific design of preference programmes influences whether or not preferences will have their intended effects of increasing and diversifying developing-country exports. The issues will be discussed from the perspective of how they influence developing countries’ interests rather than how the preference-granting countries are affected. The chapter provides a basis for a reform agenda including: universal product coverage in all preference programmes; consolidating the current spaghetti bowl of preferences into two preference variants per donor – one for all developing countries, and additional preferences for LDCs; increasing the security of preferential markets to promote long-term investments. Preference givers could increase the transparency and predictability of safeguards, graduation and conditionality; bind preferential tariff rates; liberalize rules of origin; and harmonize across donors and programmes.

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