Current international trade policy is unfair to developing countries. AEFJN urges YOU, your group, religious institutes, Christian organizations and other groups to write to your Government and International Institutions, calling on them to adopt an alternative Trade policy to eliminate some of the structural causes of poverty.

Let’s work together for a new model of Trade. Let’s eliminate one of the structural causes of poverty by promoting fairer conditions for developing countries! You can find a letter model that you can adapt to the reality of your country  HERE.


1.       The Problem 


The current economic system is based on the assumption that economic growth will lead to job creation and the improvement of social conditions. However, it is clear that inequalities remain and that the gap between rich and poor is increasing. Globalization has created a model of Trade that does not take into account the circumstances of developing countries and increases the disparity between the North and the South. Today, the powerful use trade agreements to protect the interests of large companies and elites while impoverishing the poor. In developing countries, many of them in Africa, this trade system is destroying lives, livelihoods and communities. A new vision for trade is necessary.      


      2.       What’s happening?


The trade policy of developed countries aims at improving the competitiveness of their companies by pressing for the opening of markets through bilateral and regional agreements with developing countries. By reducing import taxes, these agreements seek to boost exports of industrialized countries and to gain easy access to new markets in developing countries. The processing of food and goods in poor countries is particularly affected by the increase of foreign imports and the ensuing job losses. Moreover, the elimination of tariffs reduces developing countries’ tax revenue which is vital for services such as education and health. As a result of the current trade policy, developing countries are finding it harder to develop added-value industries which makes these countries dependent on exports of raw materials. A new vision for trade is needed to strengthen the economy of developing countries.


      3.       Why we must act now


The West is increasing pressure on developing countries to sign economic agreements - such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Africa and the EU. Some African countries like Nigeria and Ghana do not want to sign the EPA as they do not see their economies, industry and people benefitting. AEFJN, in alliance with Alternative Trade Mandate, thinks the right time has come to propose a new, fairer model of trade. Governments of rich countries and international institutions need to change their attitude towards developing countries and have coherent development and trade policies. This will enable a new style of commercial relationship that promotes more equitable development by taking into account the circumstances of developing countries and their people. At the same time, developing countries need to use their position as a potential market to develop their industry, increase south-south trade and strengthen regional integration. Alternative trade models are necessary to eliminate the structural causes of poverty. 


      4.       What we are asking you to do

AEFJN is asking everyone (religious Institutes, Christian organizations, other groups and individuals) to write to people responsible for Trade policies and call for an Alternative Trade Mandate based on a new set of principles to ensure solid economic progress in developing countries. The new Trade policies must respect human rights, be approved by Parliaments and involve civic society participation.Please send the petition letter (see below) to at least three of the following:


-          Your President / Prime Minister /Trade Minister



-          World Trade Organization

Roberto Azevêdo

WTO Director-General

Centre William Rappard
Rue de Lausanne 154
CH-1211 Geneva 21 



-          World Bank:

Jim Yong Kim

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20433




        -     European Commission - DG Trade:

Karel De Gucht

European Commissioner for Trade

BE-1049 Brussels




Let’s work together for a new model of Trade. Let’s eliminate one of the structural causes of poverty by promoting fairer conditions for developing countries! You can find a letter model that you can adapt to the reality of your country HERE.


Success is not going to come overnight. Thank you for sharing our dream and for taking this first important step with us.



Go back