Dáil Éireann - Volume 455 - 27 June, 1995

Written Answers. - Improvement of Market Access for Development Countries.

50. Mr. M. Kitt asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the efforts, if any, the Irish Government has made, acting on its own or through the EU or other appropriate forums, to improve market access for exports from [81] developing countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11786/95]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): External trade regulation falls within the competence of the European Union. In that framework, Ireland seeks to promote the interests of the developing countries, particularly the least developed among them. Aid and trade concessions are the two main instruments employed. As far as trade is concerned, the Union applies its Generalised System of Preferences in favour of imports from developing countries. The developing countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, the so-called ACP Countries, enjoy especially favourable access to the EU market, subject to certain safeguards in relation to specified agricultural produce where Union producers would be unduly affected if imports were not regulated to a certain degree.

Both the Lomé Convention and the European Union's Co-operation Agreements with developing countries provide for Union assistance with the development of expertise in processing, marketing and distribution. Encouragement and support is also provided in forming regional networks for the same purpose.