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A Primer on Development Dimension of Trade Negotiations in the WTO: The Doha Development Agenda

Ayoki, Milton (2006): A Primer on Development Dimension of Trade Negotiations in the WTO: The Doha Development Agenda. Published in:

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Abstract

This paper documents the developments in the WTO negotiations from Doha to present day, in the context of substantive work programme on special and differential treatment (S&D) for developing countries. From the evidence so far, the current round of trade negotiations, the Doha Development Round does not yet deserve the epithet of a “development round”. Developed countries have relegated on their promises to redress the imbalances—including the challenges faced by poor countries and the inequities generated by previous rounds of trade negotiations. The Doha Round has failed to deliver on S&D. No substantial progress has been made in strengthening the S&D proposals and making them more precise, effective and operational as mandated in Doha. It appears developed countries are likely to be more amendable to agree to more operational, meaningful and binding S&D provided there is clarity on who, the beneficiaries are. Developing countries need to have a very honest discussion (among themselves) on issue of differentiation and graduation. Given that economic and social conditions vary across countries, one option would be to tailor different types of S&D measures to specific circumstances and needs of developing countries on the basis of their levels of development.

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