Though important, trade is far from a magic bullet for achieving development. The slogan “trade, not aid” is utterly misguided, particularly in the poorest countries.
Trade reforms are complementary to other parts of development policy, such as infrastructure investments and social programs to develop a healthy and well educated workforce. As outlined in Monterrey, a MDG-based international trade policy should focus on two overarching issues:
*Improved market access and terms of trade for the poor countries.
*Improved supply-side competitiveness for low-income exports, through increased investments in infrastructure (roads, electricity, ports) and trade facilitation.
Much progress could be made in the context of the World Trade Organization's Doha Development Agenda. To establish an overarching framework for progress, the Millennium Project further recommended that global political leaders agree to a conveniently distant long term target (for example, 2025) for the total removal of barriers to merchandise trade, a substantial and across the-board liberalization of trade in services, and the universal enforcement of the principles of reciprocity and nondiscrimination.