Africa: Trade

International Development written question – answered on 20th October 2008.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures his Department is supporting to promote the manufacture of goods marketed in finished form from Africa, rather than the export of raw materials.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

Much of Sub-Saharan Africa has been a relatively difficult place for manufacturing activities. Key reasons for this are poor infrastructure, particularly roads, ports and power infrastructure, a poor business environment and restrictive rules of origin in trade agreements.

The Department for International Development (DFID) works on all of these agendas. For example, DFID provides support to the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA). This encourages a joined-up approach among donors and partner governments to meet Africa's urgent infrastructure needs. We also provide support to the Investment Climate Facility for Africa which is a new private-public partnership, focused on improving the investment climate in African countries.

DFID's soon to be launched Aid for Trade Strategy will set out how we will support countries to become more competitive traders. In parallel, DFID continues to press for more development-friendly trade agreements with African countries. This is particularly evident in the ongoing negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), where we are arguing for more liberal rules of origin for African exports.

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