On the Historical, Moral and Economic Arguments for Asymmetric Trading Regimes: the case of sub-Saharan Africa

Bob Milward


The Least Developed Countries Report 2006 argued that a paradigm shift in national and international policies to promote development and poverty reduction is required because current policies are inadequate and have failed to develop productive capacities in the underdeveloped economies. However, the policies that are advocated do not deal with the fundamental question of how the new paradigm should differ in its approach to trading regimes currently in operation. In this paper we address this in terms of the arguments against the comparative advantage orthodoxy of free trade and for the acceptance of an asymmetric trading regime for sub-Saharan Africa based on the history of economic development and the underlying moral imperative.

Published on 10 Jul 2015 in World Economic Review No 5, July 2015