Libya Urges Africans to Find Way to Boost Prices for Raw Materials
Libya is urging fellow African countries to devise ways to boost prices for raw materials they currently export so cheaply to the developed world, saying it was a cause of their poverty.
"We are poor because we are selling our raw materials at very low prices," Mahmud Mughrabi, Libya's assistant secretary for foreign trade, told a conference of African trade ministers ending late Wednesday.
"One ton of cotton fetches the same price as a ready-made suit in some developed countries," he said.
The trade ministers then adopted a Libyan proposal to start searching for a "mechanism" for Africans as a whole to bargain for higher prices when they hold their next annual meeting in Nigeria next year.
An Arab journalist asked if the Libyan call amounted to a violation of World Trade Organization rules by seeking to fix prices.
Egypt's Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Yusef Boutros-Ghali replied that the Libyan, whom he complimented for his "constructive" proposal, was simply asking for a study on how African bargaining power could be increased.
Any new mechanism would be tested for its compliance with global trading rules, he added - CAIRO (AFP)
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