African countries examine lines of action for cotton negotiations at WTO
Experts from five African countries opened a two-day meeting here Tuesday to discuss unfair cotton subsidies in developed countries and the need to take action at the World Trade Organization.
The roughly 30 experts hail from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad - four major cotton producers - in addition to experts from Togo.
Since 2003, the main four countries, called the C-4 group, have opposed subsidies granted to cotton producers in some developed countries which they say cause distortions on cotton market.
The gathering comes on the heels of a meeting scheduled by ministers from the C-4 group scheduled to be held next Thursday in the economic capital of Cotonou in Benin.
The meetings "examine strategies for cotton production and export capacity building in the four countries as well as in the least developed countries," according to Nicolas Dandoga, cabinet director of Benin ministry of Industry.
He added the experts will also examine the project "Cotton Road" that aims to promote the emergence of a regional value chain based on the production and marketing of cotton and its by-products such as textile and clothing.
"We think that we, African producers and exporters of cotton, should carry on our internal reforms so as to make African cotton more competitive," said Nicolas Dandoga.