Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Development Dimension of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

Ayoki, Milton (2017): The Development Dimension of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

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The focus on development adopted at the WTO’s Doha Ministerial Meeting in 2001 has changed the architecture of multilateral trade negotiations, with development issues assuming a central position in the WTO negotiation spaces and agreements. In this paper, we assess the extent to which the concerns of developing countries have been addressed in the TFA substantive provisions and special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions for developing countries. We find that the TFA approach resembles a traditional approach to addressing concerns of developing countries and follows closely the already trodden path of the Uruguay S&DT discipline. An important cluster of issues that did not find its way into the TFA is that relating to regional approach in implementation of TFA. The TFA holds the promise of contributing positively to the development process in less developed countries if the promise of support is realized and developing countries set clear and objective targets to make effective use of the assistance, but in itself may not guarantee the realization of development objectives for developing and least developed countries. Provision of support and capacity building are unguranteed by nonbinding nature of the relevant provisions. This is the input that international partners could, and should, make to the realization of development objec-tive of TFA.

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