Asia-Pacific Development Journal

The Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) is published twice a year by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The primary objective of the APDJ is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region and aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation. The APDJ provides a scholarly means for bringing together research work by eminent social scientists and development practitioners from the region and beyond for use by a variety of stakeholders. The Journal aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation in the region.


Perpetuating the global division of labour: Defensive free trade and development in the third world

This article contains an examination of whether free trade coupled with the neoliberal principles of the Washington Consensus has been turned into a defensive strategy used by developed countries in order to maintain and perpetuate the division of labour in the global market between developed and developing countries. The question is raised of whether developed countries are worried that some highly populated emerging economies may follow the path of the newly industrialized economies. As a pre-emptive measure, developed countries adopt free trade as a defensive mechanism that would create a level playing field or “fair trade” in the global market and would deliberately stifle infant, high value added industries from thriving within emerging economies. On a level playing field, infant industries cannot compete against the wellestablished corporations of developed countries. Finally, free trade also leads to another indirect outcome: it intensifies competition among developing economies in low value added goods and consequently lessens a rise in the income of unskilled labour in these economies.


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