Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics

The Trade Hot Topics series provides concise and informative analyses of various trade and trade-related issues which are prepared both by Commonwealth Secretariat and international experts.



Challenges and Opportunities for Small States and LDCs

The concerns of developing country exporters, that eco-labelling schemes could be a disguised form of protectionist trade policy used to support domestic industries in the countries that implement them, could emanate from the fact that there is no universally accepted standard for the over 400 recorded ecolabelling programmes implemented in 197 countries in 25 different industry sectors. The potential for trade disputes arises when eco-labelling criteria include production-related criteria that reflect developed country production preferences and technologies, which are difficult for developing countries to adopt and therefore impact upon developing countries’ export interests. This issue of Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics highlights some of the challenges and also opportunities faced by exporters from small states and least developed countries (LDCs) heavily dependent on export markets where the use of voluntary eco-labelling schemes is continuing to grow, particularly in the agri-foods sector.


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