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Scrap the trade barriers

Have your say on the Globalisation and Global Poverty Policy Group's recommendations on the Stand Up Speak Up website

Read David Cameron's blog from Rwanda on Webcameron

David Cameron has called on the world's richer nations to scrap their trade barriers, and give developing countries in Africa and the rest of the world the opportunity to build their economies.

Delivering a keynote speech to the Rwandan Parliament, the Conservative Leader criticised the way richer states seek concessions in return for trade deals, and declared: "Forget the endless tortuous negotiations about getting something in return. Just do it. We can afford it. Africa needs it. And we will all benefit from it."

Attacking the scandal of the stalled Doha Round, he stated: "In the long run, we must restart Doha and reach a comprehensive agreement that will ensure full access to developed markets for poorer countries. But we can't wait for that. We need action now to open up markets and remove barriers that put poor countries at such an unfair disadvantage."

Mr Cameron hailed proposals just published by the Conservative Globalisation and Global Poverty Policy Group, which calls for the EU and other rich countries to unilaterally drop their trade barriers for poorer countries by 2013 at the latest, and said: "The demand is simple: get rid of all the barriers that stop poorer nations from trading fairly, and open markets to goods from the developing world."

Meanwhile, he welcomed the suggestion of Policy Group, for a new campaign called Real Trade, to put pressure on politicians in all developed countries to drop their trade barriers, unilaterally, and immediately.

"I hope this campaign combines the energy and excitement of Make Poverty History with the moral force of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. I hope it reaches into the churches, the trade unions, the schools and every corner of society in every rich nation, and mobilises millions to knock on the doors and bang on the walls of those with the power to make change happen. The current trade rules are unfair. They are damaging. They are immoral. It's time for real change - for Real Trade," he said.

In his speech in Kigali, capital of the central east African state, Mr Cameron stressed the interdependence of the world, and slapped down the critics who said he should not have travelled to Rwanda - where dozens of Conservative volunteers are working on aid projects.

He said: "There are some people in Britain who told me not to come. They said I should stay at home and worry about domestic concerns. Well let me tell them - and let me tell you - that in the twenty-first century, a century of global trade, global migration, and global terrorism, there is no "domestic" and "foreign" any more. In this world today, we are all in it together. The rich cannot escape the consequences of poverty and instability. What happens in one place affects many others.

"Gas from a factory in Beijing can contribute to floods in Britain. Civil war in Somalia can bring thousands of migrants to Stockholm. A cartoon in Denmark can create riots in Damascus. Right now we're seeing climate change bring floods in Britain while at the same time depleting water for your hydro-electric programme here. Our futures are linked as never before."

Mr Cameron said that if the 19th century was the era of global imperialism, and the 20th century the era of global ideological struggle, then the 21st century, "must be the era of global co-operation - in which we build a bridge between rich and poor, a bridge between north and south, a bridge between this continent and the rest of the world. And as we do so to banish forever the cruel injustice of global poverty".

Cameron, David

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