Trade Liberalisation Policies, Intra-regional Trade and Opportunities for Sustainable Agricultural Development

Zakir Hussain, Riaz Hussain Qureshi, Waqar A. Jehangir


Many of the Near East (NE) countries are currently opening
their agricultural markets at three distinct but interacting levels:
unilateral liberalisation, regional integration schemes and multilateral
trade liberalisation. These changes hold important implications for
intra- and extra-regional trade, use of agricultural resources and
sustainability of agricultural development in the NE countries.
Unilaterally, and since the late 1980s, most countries of the region
have liberalised their agriculture sectors by eliminating or reducing
input subsidies, removing or reducing guaranteed producer prices,
reducing the number of subsidised commodities and liberalising the
exchange rate and the trade regime. Most of the implicit and explicit
subsidies for agricultural inputs and outputs were withdrawn. However,
some of the NE countries were able to continue supporting agriculture
mainly for food security reasons. Experiences showed that domestic
reform is necessary but not sufficient condition for economic

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