Developing Countries: Foreign Trade

Department for International Development written question – answered on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support producers in the global south whose trade has been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State, The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The UK is championing a comprehensive and coordinated trade and development response to COVID-19 working. This includes advocating for developing country interests at the G20 and WTO and adapting our policy and programming portfolios to provide immediate support.

Through the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund, Manufacturing Africa programme and our funding to the World Bank, we are supporting countries to better understand the impacts of COVID-19, design their policy response accordingly, engage in the WTO, increase their production of COVID-19 related goods such as personal protection equipment, and ease the passage of goods across borders.

The government is engaging with businesses in the UK and in developing countries to understand the challenges they are facing to protect incomes, livelihoods, and ensure that supply chains remain resilient. We are developing a programme of support in partnership with businesses, to address these issues in the most vulnerable countries and are also providing support to Business Fights Poverty to accelerate a global learning process to enable business to provide support to vulnerable workers in global supply chains. This includes the launch of the Business and COVID-19 Response Centre, an online tool that hosts a range of resources intended to empower companies to take action in support of their most vulnerable employees, suppliers, customers and communities. They have had over 9,000 visits to their COVID-19 Response Centre and other resources and over 1,700 people have registered to engage in the process.

We are continuing to finalise further trade agreements, building on those already signed. Together these will grant preferential market access to around 100 developing countries, helping to support their economic recovery.

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