BY JOHN MORSE-BROWN ■r.■
FREE TRADE is not necessarily the answer to improving the lot of the world's poorest populations, a London conference on intermediate technology was told last week.
But the lowering of the barriers to international trade, or "globalisation", is the most assured way out of poverty, Martin Wolfe, associate editor of The Financial Times, told the Intermediate Technology Development Debate, held at the Commonwealth Institute.
He said that through increased trade East Asia had seen growth rates of 8 per cent and had halved its number of absolute poor in 20 years.
Africa, however, by closing its doors to a global economy, has seen a declining share of the labour market, falling incomes and a "peasant retreat" into subsistence agriculture. "Third World countries must open their