Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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poverty and trade > factfile > unequal trade

Unequal trade

Posted: 03 Aug 2004

World trade has grown 14-fold since 1950.

  • The richest 20 per cent of the world�s population account for 82 per cent of the trade.

  • The poorest 20 per cent participate in little more than one per cent of export trade.

  • In the 1990s, world trade grew at 6 per cent a year, developing countries trade by 8.3 per cent a year, but Africa�s share of world trade declined sharply.

  • The growth of world trade in goods and services in 2000 was 12.4 per cent. In 2001, it slumped to an estimated 1 per cent.

  • The average person in a developing country selling into world markets confronts barriers that are roughly twice as high as those faced by counterparts in industrial nations.

  • Farm subsidies and indirect support of more than $300 billion per year allow food crops exported by farmers in industrial countries to be sold at prices 20-50 percent below the cost of production, undermining farmers in developing nations.

  • In Mexico, Peru, and Colombia, farmers are turning to drug crops like opium, coca, or cannabis because their food crops cannot compete with cheaper, mass-produced imports.

  • Advertising spending in the United States totaled $235 billion in 2002, more than half of the world's total advertising market.

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Guillermo, a cocoa farme, Dominican Republic. Photo: Fairtrade Foundation
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