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This letter is in response to a Letter "Last and best chance to move Doha to a successful conclusion", in the Financial Times, November 8, 2005, printed in the Financial Times, November 15, 2005

We, the undersigned organisations and individuals , represent tens of millions of workers and farmers, landless and unemployed, human rights , development and environmental campaigners, women, students , academics and citizens from all corners of the earth.

We are writing in response to the letter signed by the CEOs and chairmen of the world’s "leading corporations" in which they urge WTO member governments to conclude the Doha round of negotiations "on time." ( "Last and best chance to move Doha to a successful conclusion", November 8)

Although we have no illusions about why the corporations are so eager to see the round concluded, their argument that trade liberalisation is a "strong driving force for global economic growth, job creation and wider consumer choice" is utterly misleading.

Their first claim about growth is questionable . A recent report from the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), compares average growth rates in 175 countries between 1960-1979 and 1980 – 2000, divided into five groups according to their per capita income at the start of each period. In the top four groups, average growth rates fell by more than half, from averages of 2. 4 to 3 .1 % in 1960-1979 to averages of .7 to 1. 3 % in 1980-2000. Only the group with the lowest per capita GDP showed a tiny increase, from 1.7 to 1.8%, even though it includes fast growing China and India . ("The Scorecard on Development: 26 years of Diminished Progress", CEPR, September 2005, , p.7)

Figures from the ILO tell the same story: the mean world GDP per capita growth fell from 3. 6 % in 1961 to just 1 % in 2003. ("A fair globalisation ”, World Commission on the Social Dimensions of Globalisation, ILO, 2004 , p. 36)

Latin America shows the most dramatic reversal of fortunes: between 1960 and 1979 the region grew by more than 80 % , however this has dwindled to just 11 % by 1980-2000 and 3% for 2000-2005 . This is the worst economic performance in modern Latin American history, even including the Great Depression. Although the world’s "leading corporations" argue that further trade liberalisation would reverse this trend, the reality is that during the past 25 years Latin America has already undertaken across-the-board and unilateral liberalisation of goods and services, in addition to wholesale privatisation , under the guidance of more than 80 International Monetary Fund programmes. (CEPR, p. 8)

In contrast, 1980-2000 was a period of accelerated trade liberalisation: the average contribution of trade to GDP went from 40% to almost 60% (ILO, 2004, p. 25). There does not appear to be a strong correlation between growth and increased trade flows.

Second, they claim that trade liberalisation will lead to job creation. Again, if we look at the research, between 1990 and 2002 unemployment increased in 7 out of 9 regions. In Southeast Asia unemployment almost doubled from 3.6% in 1990 to 6.5% in 2002. Similarly, in that period unemployment grew by almost 50% in Latin America and even in East Asia, which includes China , unemployment almost doubled from 3.6% in 1990 to 6.5% in 2002. These regions are all experiencing high population growth, so the absolute number of unemployed is growing at an even faster rate. And although the world’s top 200 companies account for one quarter of world economic activity, they employ less than 1 % of the global workforce. ( Institute of Policy Studies, December 2000)

We realise that the WTO and trade liberalisation has been good for the corporate bottom-line . In fact, 49 of the 63 companies signing the letter are in “Forbes 2000” (2004) which lists their combined profits as $109.29 billion and their total market value as $2,180.5 billion. But, before asserting extravagant claims for the benefits of trade liberalisation, the CEOs of the world’s leading corporations should look at the figures . Otherwise, they risk being charged with distorting the fact s in pursuit of their own interests.

In the pressured days before Hong Kong, trade negotiators in Geneva would be well-advised to look at the facts rather than listen to corporate lobbying.

List of signitories:

A. T. M. Zaffullah Chowdury (Dr), Project Coordinator, Gonoshasthaya Kendra, Bangladesh
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director, VOICE, Bangladesh
Alison Healey, Coordinator, Justice in Trade Agreement Network of The International Grail, Australia
Alessandro Pelizzari, Board Member, ATTAC Switzerland, Switzerland
Allejandro Villamar, General Council Member, Mexican Action Network on Free Trade, Mexico
Ana Maria Nemenzo, President, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines
Andrew de Sousa, National Organizer, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), USA
Anil Naidoo, Director, Blue Planet Project, Canada
Annelies Allain, Coordinator, International Code Documentation Centre-IBFAN, Malaysia
Annick Coupe, General Secretary, Union Syndicale Solidaires, France
Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Thailand
Antonio Tricarico, CRBM/Tradewach, Italy
Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director, The Oakland Institute, USA
Arsenio Tanchuling, Executive Director, Tambuyog Development Center, and Convenor of Alyansa Agrikultura, Philippines
Arze Glipo, Integrated Rural Development Foundation, Philippines
Azubike Nwokoye, West African Regional Focal Point, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Nigeria.
Badrul Alam, President, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh
Badrul Arup Rahee, LOKOJ Institute, Bangladesh
Benjamin Castello, Chairperson, Coalition Jubilee 2000, Angola
Beth Burrows, President/Director, Edmonds Institute, USA
Bonnie Setiawan, Executive Director, Institute for Global Justice, Indonesia
Brenda Crawford, Interim Executive Director, Food First, USA
C.P. Chandrasekhar, Managing Trustee, Economic Research Foundation, India
Carlos Ruiz, Attac Spain, Spain
Carmen Blanco Valer, Ordförande/Presidenta, UBV/Latinamerika, Sweden
Carol Barton,Coordinator, Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice, USA
Carol Bergin, Founder, Initiative Colibri, Germany
Cecilia Olivet, Transnational Institute, Uruguay
Chan Beng Seng, Executive Director, Documentation for Action Groups in Asia, Hong Kong
Charles Abugre, Head of Policy, Christian Aid, UK
Christian Felber, Co-founder, ATTAC Austria, Austria
Clare Nolan, NGO representative, Sisters of the Good Shepherd
D L O Mendis, Secretary/Convenor, Sri Lanka Pugwash Group, Sri Lanka
D Roy Laifungbam (Dr), Director, Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE), India
Damian Sullivan, International Liaison Officer, Friends of the Earth, Australia
Dan Gallin, Chair, Global Labour Institute, Switzerland
David Kane, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, USA
Deepa Bharathi, Committee for Asian Women, Thailand
Dembe Moussa Dembele, African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal
Dennis Arnold, International Coordinator, Thai Labour Campaign, Thailand
Dennis Brutus, (Professor), Patron, Jubilee South Africa; Boardmember, Center for Economic Justice, South Africa
Devinder Sharma, Director, Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security, India
Dot Keet, Alternative Information and Development Center (AIDC), South Africa
Doug Hellinger, Executive Director, The Development GAP, USA
Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, General Secretary, World YWCA
Dra. Rita Schwentesius Rindermann, Coordinadora de la Red de Mercados y Tianguis Orgánicos de México, México
Elaine Zuckerman, President, Gender Action, USA
Eva-Britt Svensson, Member of the European Parliament for the United Left Group, (GUE/NGL), Sweden
Fatima Mello, Coordinator, Rede Brasileira pela Integracao dos Povos, Brazil
Farhad Jahanmahan, WTO Coordinator, ATTAC, Sweden
Felipe Van Keirsbilck, Permanent au Secrétariat Général de la CNE,
Ferran Garcia, Veterinarios Sin Fronteras, Spain
Fiona Dove, Director, Transnational Institute, Netherlands
Fr Frank Nally, Missionary Society of St Columban, London
Gabriele Zimmer, Member of the European Parliament for the United Left Group (GUE/NGL), Germany
Gérard Choplin, Coordinator, European Farmers Coordination, Belgium
Giampiero Alhadeff, Secretary General, Solidar, Belgium
Giles Ji Ungpakorn (Associate Prof.), Workers’ Democracy, Thailand
Gonzalo Berron, Coordinator, Hemispheric Social Alliance, the Americas
Golden Munyaka, President, Poverty Forum, USA
Greg Asbed, Co-Director, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, USA
Greg Mclean, Assistant National Secretary, Australian Services Union, Australia
Gunn Olander, Leader, KFO (Norwegian Confederation of Municipal Employees), Norway
Guy Taylor, Globalise Resistance, UK
Hans Engelberts, General Secretary, Public Service International, France
Harekrishna Debnathm, Chairperson, National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), India
Henry Saragih, International Coordinator, Via Campesina (International Peasants Federation)
Herman Kumara, Convener, Fisheries Solidarity, Sri Lanka
Igbal, Headchief of Gema Prodem, Medan, North Sumatera, Indonesia
Jane Kelsey (Professor), Action, Research and Education Network of Aotearoa (ARENA NZ)
Jean-Luc Roux, Head of Political and Business, Greenpeace International
Jean Grossholtz, Diverse Women for Diversity, India
Jeff Powell, Coordinator, The Bretton Woods Project, UK
John Furman, President, Central New York Citizens in Action, USA
John Stewart, Director, Nonviolent Action and Strategies for Social Change, Zimbabwe
Jonas Sjöstedt, Member of the European Parliament for the United Left Group (GUE/NGL), Sweden
Joseph E. Goddard, General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers and Trustee Trustee of the Caribbean Congress of Labour, Barbados
Joseph F. Purugganan, Coordinator, Stop the New Round! Coalition, Philippines
Josu Egireun, Executive Committee, ESK trade union, Basque Country
K Balasubramaniam (Dr), Co-ordinator, Health Action International Asia, Sri Lanka
K. Ashok Rao, Secretary General National, Confederation of Officers Associations, India
Kalyanee Shah, President, SEWA, Nepal
Lamin Camara, Board Member, Lend A Hand Society, the Gambia
Larry Brown, National Secretary Treasurer, National Union of Public and General Employees, Canada
Lena Bröckl, Coordination Committee Member, ATTAC Germany, Germany
Lidy B. Nacpil, International Coordinator, Jubilee South
Liina Carr, International Secretary, Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions, Estonia
Linda Hartke, Coordinator, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, Switzerland
Linus Jayathilake, President, United Federation of Labor, Sri Lanka
Louise Richards, Chief Executive, War on Want, UK
M.C. George (Dr), national trustee, Infam (Indian farmers movement), India
Mahfuz Ullah, Secretary General, Centre for Sustainable Development, Bangladesh
Malgorzata Swiatek, Board Member, ATTAC Poland, Poland
Marcello Malentacchi, General Secretary of the International Metalworkers’ Federation
Maria Luisa Mendonça, Co-Director, Social Network for Justice and Human Rights, Brazil
Marianne Hochuli, Director, The Berne Declaration, Switzerland
Mark Levinson, Chief Economist, UNITE HERE, USA
Mark Ritchie, President, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, USA
Martha Mercado Ruiz and Erika García, Coordinators, Solidarity Group-Arenal (GRUDESA), Arenal, Nicaragua
Mary Rusimbi, Executive Director, Tanzania Gender Networking Programme, Tanzania
Matthias Reichl, Spokesperson, Center for Encounter and Active Non-Violence, Austria
Matyas Benyik, President, ATTAC Hungary, Hungary
Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, The Council of Canadians, Canada
Meagen Baldwin, Executive Director, WIDE, Brussels
Meenakshi Raman, Chair, Friends of the Earth International
Melissa Moore, Program Coordinator, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, US
Mika Rönkkö, Chairman, Attac Finland
Mohiuddin Ahmad, Chairperson, Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)
Muhammad Hilaluddin, Chief Director, Angikar Bangladesh Foundation, Bangladesh
Neil Kearney, General Secretary, International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation, Belgium
Nikhil Aziz, Executive Director, Grassroots International, USA
Nizam Assaf (Dr), Director, Amman Center for Human Rights Studies, Jordan
Njoki Njoroge Njehu, Executive Director, Solidarity Africa Network in Action, Kenya
Noy Prasittiporn Kan-On-Sri, Assembly of The Poor, Thailand
Nur Amalia, National Facilitator, Indonesian Peoples Forum (IPF), Indonesia
Olivier Hoedeman, CEO, Corporate Europe Observatory, The Netherlands
Oono Kazuoki, Chief of Working Committee of No-to-WTO Coalition, Japan
Padma Pushpakanthi, Convener, Savistri Women’s Network, Sri Lanka
Paul Dupret, Advisor on trade to the European Parliament, United Left Group (GUE/NGL), Belgium
Peter Fuchs, Trade & Investment Campaigner, World Economy, Ecology & Development, Germany
Peter Hardstaff, Head of Policy, World Development Movement, UK
Peter Lavina, Councilor, Mindanao Workers Against Globalization, Philippines
Peter Rossett, Center for the Study of the Americas (CENSA), Center for the Study of Change in the Mexican Countryside (CECCAM), Mexico
Prem Dangal, Secretary General, All Nepal Peasants’ Association, Nepal
R.Sreedhar, Environics Trust and mm&P, India
Ramesh Singh, Chief Executive, Action Aid International, South Africa
Ranee Hassarungsee, Secretary, Social Agenda Working Group (Social Watch), Thailand
Raquel D Castillo, National Coordinator, E-Net Philippines, Philippines
Ritu Dewan (Professor) Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, India
Ron Oswald, General Secretary, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), Switzerland
Rosemary Viswanath, Chief Functionary, EQUATIONS, India
Sam Vuthy, Womyns Agenda for Change, Cambodia
Sana Das, World Dignity Forum, India
Sanjai Bhatt (Professor) Social Work, University of Delhi, India
Sarath Fernando, Moderator, Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform, Sri Lanka
Séamus P. Finn OMI, Missionary Oblates, Justice/Peace & Integrity of Creation, USA
Sean McDonagh, author, ‘To Care for the Earth’, USA
Sigeya Kihara, Chairperson, Globalization Watch Hiroshima, Japan
Smitu Kothari, Director, Intercultural Resources, India
Sr. Estela Cordero, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, Philippines – Papua New Guinea
Sudyumna Dahal, Secretary General, Associations of Youth Organisations, Nepal
Sunila Abeysekera, Executive Director, INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre, Sri Lanka
Syed Saiful Haque, Welfare Association of Repatriated Bangladeshi Employees, Bangladesh
Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director, International Labor Rights Fund, USA
Thea Lee, Policy Director, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Thomas Kocherry, Executive Committee Member, National Fishworkers’ Forum, India
Thomas Wallgren, Chair, Network Institute for Global Democratisation, Finland & Peru
Tissa De Silva, Chairman, Peoples Policy Institute, Sri Lanka
Titi Soentoro, Regional Coordinator, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Thailand
Tony Clarke, President, Polaris Institute, Canada
Tracey Wheatley, Protect the Future, Hungary
Vicent Garces, President, Centro de Estudios Rurales y de Agricultura Internacional, Spain
Vita de Waal, Executive Director, Foundation for Gaia, UK
Walden Bello (Dr), Executive Director, Focus on the Global South, Thailand
Wallace Ryan Kuroiwa, Minister and Team leader, United Church of Christ, USA
William Gois, Regional Coordinator, Migrant Forum in Asia, Philippines
Yanuar Nugroho, Executive Director, The Business Watch Indonesia, Indonesia
Yoko Akimoto, Secretariat Member, ATTAC Japan
Yoshihide Kanno, Chairperson, Asian Farmers Exchange Center, Japan
Zakir Kibria, Director, Bangla Praxis, Bangladesh
Zeki Ergas, Executive Secretary, Millennium Solidarity Geneva Group, Switzerland