5 Law & Dev. Rev. 1 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/ldevr5 and id is 1 raw text is: 




Lee: Introduction


The  2012 special issue of the Law and Development  Review  features articles on
microtrade. Microtrade  refers to a  new  economic  and  regulatory system  of
international trade designed to help the populations of least-developed countries
(LDCs)   alleviate extreme poverty. Microtrade, unlike large-scaled international
trade used  by  some  developing  countries as a  means  to achieve  economic
development,  is based on the international trade of small quantities of locally-
produced  products (LPPs) which do not require high level of technology or capital
for production.'
      Despite considerable efforts made  by  the international community   and
LDCs   themselves, most  LDCs   have  failed to achieve economic  development
which  would  be  essential to bring their populations out of extreme poverty.
Conventional   methods   of  economic   development,  particularly trade-based
development   policies which  were  so  successful for some  other  developing
countries in the past,2 have not worked for most LDCs, and there is a call for an
alternative approach. Microtrade  is proposed  as an  alternative method  to a
conventional trade-based development policy.
      Microtrade was  first introduced in the summer  of 2008  at the Law  and
Development   Panel  of  the Society  of International Economic   Law   (SIEL)
Inaugural  Conference  held in  Geneva,  Switzerland. Some   of the prominent
academic  forums such as Harvard University Kennedy  School of Government  and
Johns  Hopkins  University  School  of Advanced   International Studies (SAIS)
subsequently hosted talks on microtrade, and the concept paper was published in
2009.3 Microtrade  was  also a major theme  at the 2011 Law  and Development
Conference  held in Seattle, USA.
      This special issue features papers presented at the 2011 conference by both
rising and  established scholars, which discuss various aspects of microtrade.
Arpita Gupta  expands  on the initial concept paper on microtrade and discusses
further possibilities of microtrade. Farid Shirazi, emphasizing the importance of
information  and communication   technology  in the economic   development  of
LDCs,   presents an e-commerce   model  for microtrade. Pranpanpong   Khumon
examines  microtrade and fair trade movement. Andreas  Neaf, Kei Mizuno,  Iven

1 For the concept paper on microtrade, see Y.S. Lee, Theoretical Basis and Regulatory Framework
for Microtrade: Combining Volunteerism with International Trade towards Poverty Elimination, 2
The Law and Development Review, no. 1 (2009), 367-399. A revised version of this paper can be
found on SSRN, text available at <http://papers.ssm.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract-id=1524185>.
The paper has been republished in Y.S. Lee et al. (eds.), Law and Development Perspective on
International Trade Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 7 - 28.
2 These countries include the newly industrializing countries (NICs) in the 1970s and 80s,
including South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and in more recent decades, China.
3 Supra note 1.
' The description of the conference can be found on the Law and Development Institute website at
<http://www.lawanddevelopment.net/2011Conference.php>.


Published by De Gruyter, 2012


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