THE DOHA AGENDA
per copy: US$15.00 (Others); US$10.00 (Third World)
PART I: THE NEW WORK PROGRAMME OF THE WTO
PART II: SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE WTO AGREEMENTS
ANNEX: Doha Ministerial Declaration Adopted on 14 November 2001
Following the Doha Ministerial Declaration in November 2001, the developed countries have catapulted the WTO into an intensive, multi-year series of further international trade negotiations. In this concise guide to the issues involved, B L Das, one of the world’s leading authorities on the WTO, explains the new Work Programme which will guide these negotiations.
Far from constituting a ‘development agenda’ as the North touted it to be, he argues that issues of great importance to developing countries do not even figure (or if they do, then insignificantly) in the Work Programme. Instead, it gives special attention to those areas that are of interest to the major developed countries, thereby further increasing the imbalance in the WTO system between North and South. Indeed the Work Programme looks set to benefit these countries who have given nothing in return to the developing countries.
The author explains and assesses the implications of each issue likely to figure in the new negotiations. These include not simply the major items that were the subject of the Uruguay Round - agriculture, services, subsidies, anti-dumping, regional trade arrangements, dispute settlement, industrial tariffs, intellectual property rights; but also new areas (the so-called Singapore issues) like investment, competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation as well as electronic commerce.
He makes concrete policy proposals for the revision of the existing WTO Agreements in order to remedy their manifest defects from the point of view of protecting and improving the development prospects of those poor countries who are already so disadvantaged in the global economy.
This is an important book likely to be of practical relevance to all those involved in the new round of trade negotiations.
About the Author: Bhagirath Lal Das was formerly India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) forum. He has also served as Director of International Trade Programmes at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He is currently a consultant and advisor to several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.