THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
WTO’s Trade Liberalisation, Agricultural Growth, and Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan
Pakistan is an agrarian based developing country, and like many other developing countries, its agriculture sector is subjected to domestic forces of demand and supply and changes in prices at international level, as well. More specifically, in the late 1990s, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) emerged as one the major players affecting such market changes more vigorously at international arena. The WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture, which was established as a result of the 1986-94 Uraguay Round talks, requires, for both developed and developing countries, to initiate a process of reforms in their agrarian economies with the objective of establishing a fair and market oriented agricultural trading system through multilateral trade negotiations. This Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) specifically asks for major reductions in export subsidies, domestic support and import barriers on agricultural products to achieve this objective, the WTO’s Agreement of Agriculture [WTO (2001)] had set the following quantitative targets for cuts in each of the three specified area, namely import tariffs, domestic supports and export subsidies.