WTO Issues

A new deadline for Doha?
The recent declaration after a meeting of trade ministers and negotiators of six key countries at New Delhi may not mark the breakthrough that the WTO members as a whole were hoping for to put the derailed Doha round back on track. Yet the degree of optimism evinced by representatives of India, Brazil, the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Australia to facilitate the completion of the talks by the end of 2007 is significant.
What Can Researchers Learn From the Suspension of the Doha Round Negotiations in 2006? By Simon J. Evenett
The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations was suspended for almost six months in 2006. The purpose of this paper is to ask what scholars can learn about the political economy of reciprocal trade liberalisation from this suspension. Specifically, four potential explanations for this suspension are examined and, in turn, these suggest a number of questions that researchers and interested analysts may wish to pursue in the future.
The Trade Strategy of the European Union: Time for a Rethink?
The European Union is the world’s largest trader, a fact that on the face of it ought to convert into considerable clout in international commercial negotiations. Yet, since the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) creation in 1995, it is difficult to point to a string of successes for the European Commission’s (EC’s) often beleaguered trade negotiators. Even the enthusiasm associated with the launch of the Doha Round in 2001 has dissipated as these negotiations have repeatedly stalled.

The Impact of Kazakhstan Accession To The World Trade Organisation: A Quantitative Assessment
In this paper we employ a computable general equilibrium model of the Kazakhstan economy to assess the impact of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which encompasses (1) improved market access; (2) Kazakhstan tariff reduction; (3) reduction of barriers against entry by multinational service providers; and (4) reform of local content and VAT policies confronting multinational firms in the oil sector.

Beyond the Divide: The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the World Trade Organization
As a matter of international law, both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Economic Rights (ICESCR) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are, in the first instance, treaty regimes. The authors focus on those aspects of economic, social and cultural rights that are most directly linked to human security, a fundamental value also acknowledged in various ways in the WTO Agreements and their interpretation. Accordingly, they examine aspects of the right to work, the right to health and the right to food and the impact of WTO rules and their interpretation.

Possibility of obtaining a new ACP-EC waiver at the WTO
This discussion paper tries to examine whether the diplomatic and trade environment at the WTO is favourable to the introduction of a new waiver that would extend the Cotonou trade regime between the ACP countries and the European Union which is due to expire on December 31, 2007. If this were the case, what would be the obstacles that must be overcome by the two partners, both from a procedural and legal standpoint, to be able to negotiate its acceptance between now and 31 December 2007?

Regional Economic Cooperation

Making Saarc Relevant
For once in its 22-years lacklustre existence, the 14th SAARC summit seems to have made a visible endeavour to break the logjam which had virtually crippled the organization for so long. The long awaited initiative has come from the big brother India with the grant of duty free access to goods from Least Developed countries in South Asia and an acknowledgement by Indian Prime Minister that differences within the SAARC fraternity had thwarted the organization from achieving its full potential.
Maintaining Policy Space for Development: A Case Study on IP Technical Assistance in FTAs
This study addresses the issue of how technical assistance is dealt with in the intellectual property (IP) chapters of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). It looks at the impact of such obligations and the challenges faced by developing countries with regard to their implementation, as well as human and institutional capacity building. It pays particular attention to FTAs between the US and a number of developing countries, especially those in Latin America. It centres its analysis on the needs and issues arising from the implementation phase of FTAs once the negotiation phase has ended.
Economic Partnership Agreements: Assessing Potential Implications from Some Alternative Scenarios
This paper has evaluated the possible effects of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) using a global general equilibrium modelling framework, namely the GTAP model. The latest version of the GTAP database (version 6.22) has been employed as a benchmark database. The study has explored the implications of different EPA scenarios (in terms of changes in GDP, exports, and other measures for welfare) for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (both developing and LDCs), based on the sample of countries in the database.
Signing Away The Future: How trade and investment agreements between rich and poor countries undermine development
Powerful countries, led by the USA and the European Union (EU), are pursuing regional and bilateral free trade agreements with unprecedented vigour. This is happening without the fanfare of global summitry and international press coverage. Around 25 developing countries have now signed free trade agreements with developed countries, and more than 100 are engaged in negotiations. An average of two bilateral investment treaties are signed every week.
Relevance of ‘Policy Space’ for Development: Implications for Multilateral Trade Negotiations
This paper makes a compelling case for public intervention for fostering industrial development. Summary of evidence that present day developed countries have extensively employed infant industry protection, industrial policy and performance requirements, subsidies, government procurement and regional economic integration among other policies in their process of industrialisation. Many of these policies have also been effectively and successfully emulated by the newly industrializing economies in East Asia to build internationally competitive modern industries (March 2007).
Are Regional Trade Agreements in Asia Stumbling or Building Blocks?
Implications for the Mekong-3 Countries
Is the recent proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in Asia a healthy development, or runs the risk of turning into an unmanageable “noodle bowl” in the future? The results show that membership in the Asian RTAs considered in this study have not, to date, occurred at the expense of trade with nonmembers, as most Asian countries’ integration with the global economy preceded regional integration.

Developmental Issues

Should the Green Box be Modified?
The concept of agricultural subsidies that have no (or at most minimal) production and trade-distorting effects was introduced in the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA). It provided a direct link between the parallel processes of domestic agricultural policy reform. The process of moving from price support to direct payments has been an essential part of domestic reforms. The designation in the URAA of certain types of agricultural payments that are free from reduction commitments is thus pivotal for the continuation of domestic policy reform.
Increasing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security
The first section discusses the concepts of poverty, vulnerability and food security, and briefly outlines how these concepts have evolved in recent years within the field of fisheries. The second section reviews the actual and potential contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security. The third and main section of the document discusses ways of increasing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security through nine main entry points.
Aid allocation and the MDGs
Developing countries receive very different amounts of aid. Even considering just low-income countries, amounts ranged in 2004 from around $90 per capita in Zambia and Senegal to less than $5 per capita in Nigeria and less than $1 per capita in India (World Bank, 2006). Are these differences justified, and if not, what would an improved allocation look like? ‘Poverty-efficiency’ is a simple and flexible principle for making aid allocation decisions. In terms of the MDGs, it would imply greater emphasis on global as opposed to country-level targets.
India’s Rising Role in Asia
This paper analyses recent developments in India’s external economic relations, with particular reference to Asia. The paper demonstrates that India’s qualitative and quantitative integration with the rest of Asia (and the world) is far deeper than commonly perceived. India must continue with the integration process; and with efforts to shift to 8 to 10 per cent sustained growth path if it is to reduce poverty and improve quality of life of its 1.1 billion people.
Beyond Microfinance: Getting Capital to Small and Medium Enterprises to Fuel Faster Development
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), typically employing between 10 and 250 workers, form the backbone of modern economies and can be crucial engines of development through their role as seedbeds of innovation. In much of the developing world, though, SMEs are under-represented, stifled by perverse regulatory climates and poor access to inputs. A critical missing ingredient is often capital (March 2007).
Guinea: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper—Third Annual Progress Report
In 2005, the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) was implemented in an overall context characterized by an obvious dearth of development funding. More specifically, the economic context continues to suffer from inadequate external financial assistance and from high inflation (29.7 percent) resulting from the steep depreciation of the Guinean franc. The worsening of inflation and the severe depreciation of the Guinean franc have contributed to the precipitous decline in household purchasing power, thereby rendering living conditions even more precarious.
Moving out of poverty – making migration work better for poor people
For many poor people around the world migration is a way of life, and has been for centuries. But globalisation has radically altered the scale of migration: people are now more aware of opportunities elsewhere and it has become easier for them to travel. Women in Asian countries now travel to the Gulf States and back. Millions of Chinese people travel within China every year to work. Across the developing world, the movement between rural and urban areas is rising.

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