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Call for Publications

WTO Issues

Compliance and Remedies Against Non-Compliance Under the WTO System-Towards A More Balanced Regime for All Members
This paper is produced under ICTSD’s research and dialogue programme on Dispute Settlement and Legal Aspects of International Trade which aims to explore realistic strategies to maximise developing countries’ capability to engage international dispute settlement systems to defend their trade interest and sustainable development objectives. This study is a contribution to the debate on whether adequate options for developing countries to enforce compliance and invoke effective retaliation under the WTO is in fact provided in Dispute Settlement Understanding or whether certain changes should be made to truly balance the legal playing field of the WTO.

Rethinking the Trading System
The world trade negotiations of the so called “Doha Development Round” at the WTO are in the limelight. A more cautious position is taken by a number of renowned international economists, trade union organizations and NGOs who are calling for much greater attention on social and environmental concerns and a slowing down and better “sequencing” of trade liberalization efforts and economic reforms without questioning the WTO as central trade negotiation forum, in rule making and in dispute settlement entirely.

Trade Adjustment in the WTO System: Are More Safeguards the Answer
This paper examines the range of adjustment problems confronting the current and future international trading system, the economic arguments for intervention to deal with these problems, the adjustment environment as set out in the current WTO Agreements, and proposals for reform. While the adjustment problems we discuss apply to both rich and poor WTO member countries, we highlight the issues of adjustment especially relevant for developing countries.

Reforming the WTO: Toward More Democratic Governance and Decision-Making
This paper takes a critical approach to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and proposes a radical solution involving more direct involvement of civil society and the private sector in WTO governing structures. It demonstrates that the WTO is currently not meeting the appropriate standards of democracy and accountability that should govern its operation. The poorest of its members are disadvantaged by the governance system which denies them the consideration and protection they require.

Getting the fundamentals right – The early stages of Afghanistan’s WTO accession Process
Afghanistan has recently embarked on the process of joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO). While increased trade can help lift countries out of poverty, the experience of countries at similar levels of development to Afghanistan’s which have joined the WTO suggests that, unless great care is exercised, the terms of that membership may adversely affect poverty reduction. This paper seeks to identify how Afghanistan can give itself the best possible chance of achieving a WTO accession package that supports its efforts to develop sustainably and to reduce poverty.

Regional Economic Cooperation

Economic Partnership Agreements: Building or shattering African regional integration
The report, says African countries stand to lose far more than they would gain from EPAs. It’s a conclusion supported by research from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa which estimates losses of up to 22% in the growth of regional trade across Africa if a standard EPA is applied. The report shows that Africa is anyway taking serious steps to resolve the problems associated with African countries’ membership of multiple and overlapping regional economic communities. It also shows that EPAs, far from supporting this process, are making the problem worse, adding further layers of complexity.

Impact of Intra-European Trade Agreements, 1990–2005: Policy Implications for the Western Balkans and Ukraine
The paper provides quantitative estimates of the impact of the European trade agreements on trade flows. It applies both static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. The results are useful to policymakers because new intra-European trade agreements are being negotiated. In the absence of a further expansion of the European Union, estimates of alternative policies may help to clarify the policy debate. The paper also illustrates that the performance of individual countries under the trade agreements can be explained in terms of their macroeconomic environment

Falling into a Spaghetti Bowl: A Review of the Impact of FTAs on Thailand
In the spaghetti bowl of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), a growing number of strands have Thailand at one end of them. In Southeast Asia, Thailand is second only to Singapore in pursuing bilateral FTAs. Thailand’s FTA network grew intensively after the country hosted the 2003 Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, less than a month after the implementation of the first of these agreements, the Early Harvest Scheme (EHS) with China. During the APEC Summit, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra rushed to sign an FTA with India and sounded out the possibility of starting FTA negotiations with other countries, including the United States.

The Changing Landscape of Regional Trade Agreements: 2006 Update
Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) have become in recent years a very prominent feature of the Multilateral Trading System (MTS). The objective of this paper is not to assess the pros and cons of RTAs; rather to raise awareness of the magnitude of the RTA phenomenon, the main trends and characteristics of this proliferation with quantitative and qualitative indicators. This paper builds upon a previous survey and aims at updating the numbers and verifying the trends observed at that time as well as the state of play of the DDA negotiations on WTO rules applying to RTAs.

Trade Negotiations In The West African Region: Issues For Consideration
West African economies remain poorly diversified and heavily reliant on trade of primary commodities, mainly to the European Union. This Analytical Note explores some of the main challenges that the countries of the EPA West African region face in the EPA negotiating process, particularly with respect to its interfaces with WTO negotiations. It highlights the region’s interests in both settings and aims at increasing negotiators’ understanding about the developmental implications of both processes.

Developmental Issues

Measuring the Effect of Foreign Aid on Growth and Poverty Reduction or The Pitfalls of Interaction Variables
Regressions in a number of recent papers written by staff members of the World Bank and the IMF rely on an interaction variable (IAV) to establish the effects of foreign aid on economic growth or the reduction of poverty. The common assumption in these papers is that if the coefficient of this IAV is statistically significant, then both of its components have a significant effect on the dependent variable. That assumption is not justified in its generality, and this paper develops two techniques that show a high probability that in at least two of the three studies analyzed one of the components of the IAV may not have a significant effect.

Interrelationship between Growth, Inequality, and poverty: The Asian experience
This paper examines the relationships between economic growth, income distribution, and poverty for 17 Asian countries for the period 1981–2001. First, it investigates how much growth is required to offset the adverse effect of an increase in inequality on poverty. This trade-off between inequality and growth is quantified using a tool called the “inequality–growth trade-off index.” Second, the paper looks into the issue of pro-poor growth. How to generate pro-poor growth is a critical challenge for policymakers concerned with sustainable poverty reduction in developing countries.

Pro-Poor to Inclusive Growth: Asian Prescriptions
This policy brief explains why developing Asia needs to move its development agenda from poverty reduction to inclusive growth in light of new and emerging challenges and examines its implications. First, while not preordained, the attainment of high per capita growth and lower inequality would almost ensure the accomplishment of the mission to eradicate extreme poverty in developing Asia by 2020. Second, rising income inequalities and the persistence of unacceptably high non-income inequalities pose a clear and present danger to sustaining Asia’s growth. Third, inclusive growth that focuses …….

The World is Still Waiting – Broken G8 promises are costing millions of lives
As the 2007 German G8 summit approaches, the demands of the millions of anti-poverty campaigners worldwide are clear. G8 leaders must increase and improve aid to provide health, education, water and sanitation for all. They must cancel more debt and deliver trade justice. Where action has been taken by G8 countries, lives are being saved. Yet despite some areas of real progress, in the past two years overall progress has fallen far short of promises. The cost of this inaction is millions of lives lost due to poverty. G8 countries must meet their promises to the world.

Why Has Unemployment Risen In The New South Africa
The paper discusses the rise in unemployment in South Africa since the transition in 1994. It describes the likely causes of this increase and analyze whether the increase in unemployment is due to structural changes in the economy (resulting in a new equilibrium unemployment rate) or to negative shocks (that temporarily have increased unemployment). The analysis includes a multinomial logit approach to understanding transitions in individual-level changes in labor market status using the first nationally representative panel in South Africa.

Call for Publications

For experts publishing articles in South Asian newspapers/publications, civil society organisations, research institutes and academics, if you would like your publication’s abstract and weblink to distributed to CUTS International network (above 5,000 recipients all over the world) and added to the Economiquity e-newsletter, please forward such details via email to following address:

This e-newsletter is compiled by the CUTS CITEE team , CUTS International

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