“Protectionist Measures have Reduced LDC Export Growth by 23.8%”
Launched at TEPAV, a report prepared for the Government of Sweden investigated how protectionist policies of the post-2008 crisis era affected export-led growth and development performance across LDCs.
ANKARA – On Thursday, 29 January, 2015, a meeting was held at TEPAV to launch a report entitled “Throwing Sand in the Wheels: How Protectionism Slowed LDC Export-Led Growth.” According to the report, protectionist policies have reduced export growth in the least developed countries (LDCs) by 23.8%.
The report, prepared for the government of Sweden by Prof. Simon J. Evenett and Dr. Johannes Fritz of St. Gallen University, investigated how protectionist policies of the post-2008 crisis era affected export-led growth and development performance across LDCs.
The meeting started with welcoming remarks by Prof. Serdar Sayan of TOBB University of Economics and Technology, and Hüsnü Dilemre, Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Economy.
Sayan stressed the harm posed to LDC economies by the protectionist policies of advanced economies. Dilemre emphasized that the trade measures Turkey has been implementing did not have negative effects on LDC, and reminded them that Turkey made a declaration to make the G20 agenda more relevant for LDC growth during its 2015 presidency.
Ambassador Joakim Reiter, Deputy Director General of International Trade Department of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, delivered a speech highlighting the importance, for LDCs, of implementation and inclusion—two of the three ‘I’s of Turkey’s G20 priorities. After Mr. Reiter’s remarks, Prof. Simon J. Evenett of the Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research, University of St. Gallen, presented the report he co-authored.
Evenett, stressing that protectionism emerged as a significant issue in post-crisis periods, stated that in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, 494 protectionist measures that affect LDC exports were implemented, with 328 coming from G20 countries. According to this, the protectionist measures of developed countries had reduced export growth in LDCs by 23.8%, causing a $196 billion decline in total, with 93% of said reduction in export revenues stemming from G20 countries. Therefore, Evenett emphasized, the issue of protectionism had to be addressed in the G20 agenda.
In this context, Evenett had three recommendations: creating an official monitoring mechanism for protectionism, an example of which was implemented by the GATT in the 1980s; encouraging G20 members to make submissions on protectionism to the WTO; and supporting LDCs in their policy-making and dialogue efforts against protectionism.