The current structure and rules of international trade are often unfavorable to developing countries. Helping regulate trade for fairer trade and setting up trade policies that are consistent with development objectives are major challenges to secure local economic value chains.
Developing country economies are generally very open and active in international trade. While developed countries’ market access conditions are becoming stricter through standards, the multiplication of free trade agreements is exposing still-fragile local production chains to international competition. The regional integration processes underway in many regions of the developing world offer, on the contrary, a framework conducive to the development of intra-regional trade. The challenges facing developing countries are to strengthen their trade negotiation capacities on the multilateral level and in regard to bilateral agreements, and work to attain regional integration targets.
Since 2003, GRET has been supporting developing country actors (public authorities, farmers’ organizations, NGOs, etc.) in these challenges, and keeping a watchful eye on the coherence of developed countries’ public cooperation, trade and agriculture policies with regard to development objectives. To do so, it combines expertise, institutional support in developing countries, and advocacy and lobbying activities in developed countries with other NGOs.