Summary Report on the Round Table Discussions Relating to Professor H. Myint’s Paper
The members of the first group of round tables discussed some of the broader theoretical and policy issues raised in Professor Myint’s paper. Many participants pointed to the great diversity of underdeveloped economies with respect to income level, size of country, pattern of resources, type of goods produced, and vulnerability of exports to changes in demand and supply conditions. They concluded that a sharp distinction between free trade and protection would not be useful, and that the desirable role and pattern of trade in relation to economic development would vary among the various countries. One delegate noted that, partly owing to sudden fears of competition from coolie labour, the trade practices of many advanced countries were highly variable and that these countries used quotas and other quantitative restrictions of trade which had abrupt effects. It followed that underdeveloped countries would wish to avoid the risks involved in heavy reliance on exports. Another participant suggested that in many underdeveloped economies there was a considerable amount of unemployment and that protection of industry was the only alternative to mass exodus of population or substantial wage reduction. However, no detailed analysis was provided of the way in which protection served to raise employment and, especially, wage income. Finally the issue concerning free trade and protection was viewed as part of the broader issue of free markets versus controls. It was suggested that a policy of free markets could not solve the social problem of increasing the national product and, especially, of distributing it more equitably.
KeywordsForeign Direct Investment Free Trade Advanced Country Recipient Country Custom Union
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