Trade & Development Series No. 29

The WTO Negotiations on Non-Agricultural Market Access: A Development Perspective
Martin Khor & Goh Chien Yen

Publisher: TWN (ISBN: 983-2729-65-3)
Year: 2006   No. of pages: 76

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.

About the Book

Negotiations on “non-agricultural market access” (NAMA) constitute a key part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s ongoing Doha work programme. In pursuing the task of drawing up new rules to liberalise international trade in manufactured goods, these talks have been mandated to take fully into account the needs and interests of developing countries.

However, the proposals put forward by the major developed countries in the negotiations could undermine this objective by calling for sharp reductions in developing countries’ tariffs on industrial imports. Such steep cuts will not only threaten the development of domestic industries in the South but also cause substantial declines in government revenues that can otherwise be channelled towards essential social spending.

This paper examines the link between liberalisation and industrial development in developing countries within the context of the NAMA negotiations. It finds that the drastic liberalisation being pushed by the developed countries can jeopardise the development interests of developing economies. In light of this, the authors propose that the NAMA talks be based instead on modalities which will both enhance developing countries’ prospects of exporting to the North as well as safeguard their freedom to adopt policies aimed at promoting domestic industrial development.


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.

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.



1    Introduction                                                                                       

2    Conceptual Framework                                                                            

3    Recent Experiences of Liberalisation and Industrial Performance

4    Desired Objectives of Negotiations 

5    The History of and Case for a Flexible Approach                       

6    Basis and Principles of the Negotiations                                      

7    The Use of Tariffs in Industrial Policy                                          

8    How the July Package Was Adopted                                            

9    Problems with the July Package Text on NAMA                        

10  Inappropriateness of a Standard Formula Approach for Developing Countries

11  Potential Effects of Formula Approaches on Developing Countries

12  Suggested Approach to Modalities for NAMA                           

13  Conclusion                                                                                      



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