Trade and Development Series No. 16
Dangers of negotiating investment and competition rules in the WTO
Among the new issues which some developed countries are pressing the World Trade Organization (WTO) to take up, are investment and competition, the aim being to secure full-fledged agreements on these subjects.
In this compilation of articels, the author warns that the rules which would emerge from such a process are likely to come in the way of developing countries' regulating and guiding the activities of foreign investors and firms in the interests of national development. However, they are pursued, be it through coercion or persuasion, the attempts of developed-country advocates to launch negotiations within the WTO on these issues could ultimately result in binding commitments on developing countries which harm their development prospects.
This collection complements two other papers by the author, both of which are also published by the Third World Network, which further elaborate on and explain in detail the implications of negotiations and agreements on investment and competition: The implications of the new issues in the WTO, and New issues and new round in the WTO.
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 UNCTAD. He is currently a consultant and advisor to several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.