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Trade & Development Series No. 33

The ‘Singapore Issues’ in the WTO: Evolution and Implications for Developing Countries

By Martin Khor

Publisher: TWN (ISBN: 978-983-2729-86-0)

Year: 2007   No. of pages: 72

About the Book

The ‘Singapore issues’ – investment, competition policy, government procurement and trade facilitation – are among the most contentious issues to have been discussed in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). WTO member states have found themselves bitterly divided, largely along North-South lines, as to whether negotiations should be launched in the multilateral trade body to draw up binding new rules governing these four areas.

This paper traces the evolution of discussions on these issues in WTO meetings, from the 1996 Ministerial Conference in Singapore (from which the issues derived their name) to the July 2004 General Council session which decided to start negotiations on trade facilitation but drop the other three subjects from the WTO’s current work programme. The author examines why the developed-country members have been so adamantly pushing for negotiations on the Singapore issues and why the developing countries have resisted these pressures, and identifies the threats such negotiations – and the resulting commitments – would pose to developing countries’ development prospects.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MARTIN KHOR is the Director of the Third World Network. An economist trained in Cambridge University, he is the author of several books and articles on trade, development and environment issues.

Contents

1      Introduction                                                                                    

2      Initiation and Evolution of the Singapore Issues in the WTO     

3      Before and at the Cancun Ministerial

4      The Process After Cancun and the “July Package” Decision

5      Major Features and Development Implications of the Singapore Issues

6      Prospects for the Reappearance of the Singapore Issues

7      Conclusion

Annex 1

Annex 2

Annex 3

PRICE

US$10.00 for First World countries

US$8.00 for Third World countries

RM10.00 for Malaysia

Prices are inclusive of postage costs by airmail.

How to Order the Book

Contact Third World Network at 131 Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.

Tel: 04-2266159

Fax: 604-2264505

Email us for further information

 


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