Leif Pagrotsky
Member of Parliament, Sweden
01:14

Leif Pagrotsky on His Tenure as Trade Minister

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Canceling tariffs on goods entering the EU from the global South was one of Leif Pagrotsky’s major accomplishments.

Leif Pagrotsky

Leif Pagrotsky is a Swedish Social Democratic politician, who had various posts in the government of Göran Persson between 1996 and 2006. In 1997 Prime Minister Göran Persson made Pagrotsky Minister of Trade and in 2002 Minister for Industry and Trade. One of his most publicly known activities during this period was his efforts to promote Swedish popular music export. In 2004, he switched posts with former Minister of Education Thomas Östros. At the same time, the responsibility for cultural matters, previously belonging to a separate ministry, was added to Pagrotsky’s portfolio. Pagrotsky has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in economics from Gothenburg University. Before joining the Cabinet, Pagrotsky worked at the Central Bank of Sweden and in the Ministry of Finance.
Transcript

Question: What were you accomplishments as Trade Minister?

Pagrotsky: Well, I think the most important accomplishment we achieved was that we could push European Union’s trade policies somewhat in direction of increased openness. I was personally able to push through an abolishment of all tariffs and all quotas on imports into the European Union from the 49 poorest countries in the world, the least developed countries according to the United Nations’ definition. And during Sweden’s presidency of the European Union, when I chaired the group of trade ministers, we were able to push through this. I think that was my single most important contribution to global trade. Otherwise, it was the participation in starting the [IB] and pursuing our negotiations, but today, I consider that to be one of my failures, not one of my successes


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