ACCESS FOR NON-AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS: A DEVELOPMENT VIEW OF THE PRINCIPLES
Negotiations are now underway in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to liberalise trade in manufactured goods, as part of the broader work programme initiated at the WTO's Ministerial Conference in Doha in November 2001. The outcome of these negotiations on "market access for non-agricultural products" will have a crucial bearing on developing countries' prospects for industrialisation.
This paper underlines the need for the negotiations to contribute positively to industrial development in the Third World and ensure the viability of domestic industrial enterprises in the developing countries. Towards this end, the authors outline a set of development-oriented objectives and principles upon which the talks should be based, making references to provisions in the Doha negotiating mandate which emphasise the centrality of developing countries' special needs and interests. Specific suggestions are laid out on how the all-important negotiating modalities, which will constitute the blueprint for fleshing out individual countries' liberalization commitments, are to be formulated.
The proposals in this paper aim at providing developing countries the policy flexibility to determine and modify the degree of national trade liberalisation in consonance with their development, financial and industrialisation needs.
MARTIN KHOR is the Director of the Third World Network and the author of several books and articles on trade, development and environment issues. He was formerly a Vice Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights Expert Group on the Right to Development and is a consultant to the United Nations in several research studies.
GOH CHIEN YEN is a Legal Advisor and Researcher with the Third World Network. He graduated with an LLB from the University of Nottingham, UK and also holds an LLM from the National University of Singapore.
TWN TRADE & DEVELOPMENT SERIES is a series of papers published by Third World Network on trade and development issues that are of public concern, particularly in the South. The series is aimed at generating discussion and contributing to the advancement of appropriate development policies oriented towards fulfilling human needs, social equity and environmental sustainability.