The WTO Doha Agenda - Progress and Issues for Asia Pacific Developing Economies

M Bosworth, Leanne Holmes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Progress in the Doha Round of WTO negotiations has been slow. Frameworks for establishing modalities for agriculture, non-agricultural market access and trade facilitation were agreed upon in July 2004 but key details are still to be negotiated and many commitments remain vague. For developing economies in the Asia Pacific region, the July package contains many potentially positive elements, including a commitment to remove all forms of agricultural export subsidies and a framework for reducing domestic supports and market access restrictions. However, most of the difficult issues are still to be addressed. Already it is apparent the agreements and commitments will be complex, full of exceptions (especially for developing countries due to their insistence on economically damaging forms of special and differential treatment) and difficult to interpret. This will serve to enable all governments to fudge commitments and to undermine the transparency of the multilateral trading system. Latest developments are not encouraging. Critical target dates set in the July package in preparation for the December Hong Kong Ministerial Conference were missed due to negotiations lagging in all key areas. Without a successful outcome in Hong Kong, it is unlikely the Doha Round will be completed by the current deadline of 2007.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-74
    JournalAsian-Pacific Economic Literature
    Volume19
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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