There is an idea that is becoming more widely accepted nowadays: that trade is a better solution than an aid when it comes to encouraging development. Many people agree whereas others present opposite argumentations. Let’s see which are the more common points on the topic:
- Trade is a way to establish a long-term relationship with other countries based on exchange, which means the flow of goods arriving in the developing country is not likely to arrest abruptly as it could happen, conversely, with aid. The latter is an easy target for spending reduction if the developed country goes through a difficult period
- Trade allows countries to keep their dignity, whereas aid is seen as a patronizing form of help. This is why, according to many people, African countries are often reluctant to participate in the international political scene: they feel they are not in an equal position to other countries.
- Trade reflects a more realistic vision of the international community. This means that aid can create a distorted idea of the donor, eg. a country where life is easy and everyone is rich. Such an unrealistic picture might trigger false perspectives of wealth which turns into migration towards the donor, but then hopes are disillusioned and migrants struggle to integrate into a reality that is very different from what they imagined.
- Trade is a powerful stimulation that enables developing countries to gear up and solve many of their own issues: in order to trade, countries have to develop infrastructure and good governance, so opening to trade is a long-term investment.