All too frequently one is reminded of the continuing problem of the trading relations of the rich and poor nations. In 1974 a special session of the United Nations General Assembly was devoted to raw materials and development, the European Economic Community has created ‘Stabex’ for the stabilisation of export revenue for associated territories and successive meetings of UNCTAD testify to the lack of success in dealing with the commodity problem. If the oil price rises of 1973 and the apparent success of the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) suggested a changing balance of economic power between the developed and less-developed it was soon to become clear that the changes were not as profound as some had hoped and others had feared. Recent violent fluctuations in the world prices of coffee, cocoa and copper dispel any idea that stability has been achieved for other commodities. The previous chapter has put some of the arguments for and against aid to the LDCs and also put forward the increasingly widely held view that aid would be better replaced by trade. Let us discuss further some of the implications of this view.
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