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WTO Issues

The Challenge of Interpreting WTO-Plus’ Provisions
This paper seeks to identify the special interpretive issues raised by the China Accession Protocol (the “Protocol”), focusing on its provisions that impose on China obligations more stringent than those imposed by general WTO disciplines. These so-called “WTO-plus” obligations have already become involved in several pending WTO disputes. Yet, how to interpret them remains uncharted territory. Interpretation of the China-specific provisions presents a special challenge to the panels and the Appellate Body………

Services Trade and Investment Liberalisation, and Domestic Regulation: A Summary of Six Country Case Studies
The service sector has become an increasingly important sector in national output and employment of developing countries. For many developing economies and least developed countries (LDCs), services constitute a fast growing and often dominant sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with important forward and backward linkages to other sectors of the economy. With growing global trade and investment flows in services driven by liberalisation and deregulation of economies, technological advances ………

The Development Promise: Can the Doha Development Agenda Deliver for Least Developed Countries?
The benefits least developed countries (LDCs) can draw from a multilateral trade reform as designed by the modalities made public in May 2008 are negligible, and some countries will even face adverse effects. World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiators should make a supplementary effort in favor of the poorest countries. The Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) Initiative moves in the right direction, but it should be extended not only from a product point of view—with a 100, not 97, percent application ………

Developing Countries in the WTO System: Applying Robert Hudec’s Analysis to the Doha Round
In his 1987 Developing Countries in the GATT System, Robert Hudec concluded that the identity of developing countries in the GATT system was primarily a matter of their demanding non-reciprocal and preferential treatment, developed countries responding grudgingly to those demands and that this situation had been unfruitful either to support developing country reforms or to discipline developed country restrictions aimed at developing countries. Hudec was pessimistic about the relationship becoming ………

WTO Compatibility and the Legal Form of EPAs: A Case Study of Eastern and Southern Africa
This paper considers the compatibility of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Commission (EC) and African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries with the law of the World Trade Organisation. The Eastern and Southern African EPAs are used as a case study. Three possibilities for compatibility are examined. The waiver option is rejected as overly vulnerable to change. It is argued that it is probably possible to justify the agreements under the Enabling Clause, particularly for Eastern and Southern African EPAs.

Regional Economic Cooperation

Emerging Asian Regionalism – A Partnership for Shared Prosperity
Asia’s economies are increasingly vital to each other— and to the world. Asia’s output today roughly equals that of Europe or North America, and may well be 50% larger than theirs will be by 2020, in terms of purchasing power parity. The challenge for a prosperous and interdependent Asia is to strengthen and spread the benefits of regional cooperation while playing a substantial, constructive role in global economic leadership. As Asia’s economies have grown larger and more complex ………

Has SL-India trade saturated?
The recent study by UNCTAD India, and the Asian Development Bank has estimated the potential trade between country’s in the South Asia region at $8000 million based on the averages from 1995-2005 whilst, the actual trade registers at $3500 million which is a very interesting dimension given the issues that Sri Lanka is up against like the EU GSP+ challenge and the down turn of the US economy which are core markets for Sri Lanka’s exports.

Priority Integration Sectors in ASEAN: Supply-side Implications and Options
There are 12 priority integration sectors of strategic importance for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Exports from the nine largely goods sectors, with almost three quarters of merchandise export value, are dominated by electronics-related equipment and products. Priority goods have diverse supply and trade characteristics but among the common performance issues and development options for attention in ASEAN are the high levels of trade and nontrade costs and complications.

EU-African Economic Relations: Continuing Dominance, Traded for Aid?
Promising growth rates, increased trade, and competition among major global players for African resources have boosted the development and bargaining power of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in relation to the EU. However, Africa’s least developed countries remain vulnerable to external shocks. Academic analysis is still too heavily influenced by scholastic controversies. Neither the controversy over “big-push” concepts nor the blaming of African culture as an impediment to growth or good government ………

A Relational Theory of Regional Economic Integration-Implications for Africa
The thesis of this paper is that regional economic integration is the product of structuring and managing vertical, horizontal and vertico-horizontal relations among states, laws, institutions and legal systems, and that true and effective integration results from properly structuring and managing these relations using relational instruments of law for economic integration. It argues that past African economic integration initiatives neglected relational instruments and the success or otherwise of the current wave ………

Developmental Issues

Agricultural R&D Policy and Institutional Reforms: Learning from the Experiences of India and China
Studies have shown that agricultural R&D has been one of the important sources of agricultural growth and also helped in reducing poverty [Alston et al 2000; Fan et al 1999 and Fan et al 2002]. In spite of these impressive growth and equity impacts, public funding for agricultural R&D has come under scrutiny in recent past because of uneven performance of agriculture, as well as due to the factors relating to R&D. Inefficiencies of the public research systems manifested during protected socio- political ………

The Global Food Crisis: Causes, Severity and Outlook
Global food prices witnessed a very sharp increase in 2007 and they are continuing to rise. Initially it was thought that the increase in food prices was a part of their cyclical nature, aggravated by the adverse impact of weather on production in some parts of the world. However, the continuing surge and the high level of global food prices seen so far in 2008 make it abundantly clear that the recent trend cannot be attributed to any volatility of international prices (Figure 1, p 116), and there are fears that food prices………

Aid Effectiveness after Accra: How to Reform the ‘Paris Agenda’
The need for an open and honest debate on aid effectiveness has never been more urgent. Will Accra prove to be the turning point? Political change in aid recipient countries is more important than anyone is admitting in the Paris Declaration debate. Donor alignment efforts are compromised by a damaging mix of risk avoidance and political correctness. Both donors and country authorities should assume greater responsibility for their own incentive structures.

Development under Conditions of Inequality and Distrust Social Cohesion in Latin America
This paper analyzes the role of social cohesion in economic and institutional development and, broadly, the creation of welfare in Latin America. The paper defines the concept of social cohesion with reference to the notions of social capital and inequality. Using data and literature on Latin America, the paper argues that low interpersonal trust and entrenched inequality interfere with cohesion. The paper develops and introduces an exploratory index of cohesion structured around the definition proposed. Relying on correlations ………

The Blame Game: Who is Behind the World Food Price Crisis?
World prices for basic staples have skyrocketed up 83 percent compared to three years ago while hunger and destitution reaches record levels. Corn registered a 31 percent increase between March 2007-2008, rice 74 percent, soya 87 percent and wheat a whopping 130 percent. Policy makers and media continue to place blame for skyrocketing prices on a variety of factors, including high fuel costs, bad weather in key food producing countries, and the diversion of land to biofuels.

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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