Door handel uit de armoede

WASHINGTON, DC – Sinds jaar en dag is een basisprincipe van de internationale handelstheorie dat een grotere handel op de lange termijn correleert met snellere bbp-groei. Maar de uitdaging, waar mijn instituut de Wereldbank mee bezig is, is om te verzekeren dat door handel gedreven groei de armen voordeel biedt. Dit is waarom de leiders van zeven multilaterale instituties, waaronder de Wereldbank, zich hebben ingespannen voor een handels-faciliterende overeenkomst die eerder deze maand gesloten werd op ministeriele conferentie van de Wereld Handels Organisatie op Bali.

Zeker, de armoede wereldwijd is historisch laag, met niveaus van extreme armoede (het gedeelte van de bevolking dat leeft van minder dan 1,25 dollar per dag, in termen van koopkrachtpariteit) die in 2010 met meer dan de helft gedaald waren ten opzichte van 1990. Maar dat betekent dat er nog steeds meer dan een miljard mensen wereldwijd in extreme armoede leven. Bovendien is de vooruitgang ongelijk geweest, met armoedeniveaus die in Oost-Azië en Latijns Amerika veel meer gedaald zijn dan in Sub-Sahara Afrika.

Om met deze veranderende mondiale context om te gaan heeft de Wereldbank een nieuw doel geïntroduceerd om haar inspanningen voor armoedebestrijding langs te leiden: het bevorderen van duurzame, gedeelde welvaart door het monitoren van de inkomensgroei van de armste 40% van de bevolking van elk land. We herbezinnen ons er dus op hoe we succes in ontwikkeling definiëren en hoe we aan handel gerelateerde steun kunnen geven aan ontwikkelingslanden.

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