Trade and Development Series No. 12

Developing Countries, the WTO and a New Round: A Perspective
by Ransford Smith

The TWN Trade and 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.

No. of pages: 40
Size: 16.5 X 24 cm
ISBN: 983-9747-49-5
Year Published: 2001

Third World countries US$4.00
Other foreign countries US$6.00
Postage cost by air mail: Please add 30% to the price of the book

About the book:

A significant number of developing countries are lagging behind other members of the international community in trade performance and face increasing marginalization if they remain unable to adapt to the rapidly evolving structure of the global economy. As the maker and arbiter of international trade rules, the World Trade Organization (WTO) can contribute to redressing this situation by promoting the beneficial integration of Third World nations into the multilateral trading system.

Recognizing the important role of the world trade body in this regard, this paper raises the need for change in several substantive and procedural aspects of the WTO regime which presently run counter to developing-country interests. Proposals for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations should also be viewed by developing countries with an abundance of caution, the author suggests, until meaningful progress in remedying these existing imbalances is achieved and suitably focused negotiating parameters are set which will safeguard the interests of the developing world.


1. Introduction

2. Culture and normative behaviour of the WTO

3. WTO rules

4. Technical assistance and capacity-building

5. Minimalist ambitions for the near to medium term - or perspective on a new round

6. Conclusion

About the author:

Ambassador Ransford Smith has been Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the Office of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies at Geneva, and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization, since October 1999. He has held senior posts in the Jamaican Foreign Service. He has previously served in New York, Washington and Geneva and participated in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations in the late 1980s. Ambassador Smith served as Permanent Secretary in the Jamaican Ministry of Industry and Investment and Ministry of Commerce and Technology before his current assignment.