Small states want trade not aid – Minister Adam


He was speaking at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) currently ongoing in Doha, Qatar.

The gathering is convened under the theme ‘Development-centred globalisation: Towards inclusive and sustainable growth and development’.

Mr Adam explained that only through increased access to affordable funding mechanisms can island states like Seychelles achieve their true development potential and better the lives of their populations.

“I want to be clear - we are not asking for aid, but we strongly believe in trade as a development facilitator. Our current limited access to favourable terms of trade means that we are completely at the mercy of external factors outside of our control.  We are asking that the specific constraints that small islands face are acknowledged, and that mechanisms be developed to mitigate this,” said the minister.

Mr Adam said that according to substantiated research by UNCTAD itself, Sids are at a gross disadvantage compared to other states in the G77:

“Thus when we remark that Sids are leaders in terms of GDP per capita, we must also remember that it also costs us more per capita to invest in any infrastructure, to trade and to ensure food and energy security… Geographical remoteness and small populations contribute to often very disadvantaged terms of trade. 

“While there is nothing that we can do about our geographical remoteness, we are here today, because we believe that something can be done about our economic isolation.”

The minister concluded by calling on the international community to take advantage of the openness of Sids and test out innovation in trade policy as due to the relative small size of their economies and populations, their impact can be easily measured.

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