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Developing country goals and strategies for the Millennium Round, Volume 1
 
Author:Michalopoulos, Constantine; Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 2147
Date Stored:2001/04/25Document Date:1999/07/31
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Rules of Origin; Environmental Economics & Policies; Economic Theory & Research; Free Trade; Poverty Assessment; Economic Conditions and Volatility; Decentralization; Rural Land Policies for Poverty Reduction
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:(Historic)Economic Policy
Report Number:WPS2147Sub Sectors:Trade
Volume No:1  

Summary: Many developing countries have been reluctant to participate in multilateral trade negotiations except for those on agriculture and services, topics mandated under previous World Trade Organization (WTO decisions. The author argues that developing countries can gain significant benefits from a broader WTO Millennium Round of negotiations but must develop strategies for participating in it. Different groups will have different interests, but developing countries as a group may want to include additional issues in the new Round, especially, industrial tariffs and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. It may also be to their advantage to include discussions on trade-related environmental issues and government procurement, if they obtain the institutional support they need to meet their commitments under any new agreements. Other topics should be resisted because they are premature or counterproductive or do not promise net benefits for most developing countries. The new Round should be a single undertaking, to maximize tradeoffs across issues and for political economy reasons: to permit liberalizing forces everywhere to exert pressure on governments to liberalize world trade. But there should not be too many issues, as that would strain the capacities of the poorer and least developed economies. In a new WTO Round, developing countries should be prepared to exchange liberalizing trade concessions on a most-favored-nation basis. Liberalization of their own trade in exchange for improved access to the markets of their trading partners, most of which are other developing countries, is the only way to maximize benefits from multilateral trade negotiations. Efforts to obtain special and differential treatment should focus on establishing realistic transition periods and technical assistance to address constraints on their institutional capacity.

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