Issue No. 684/685, 1-31 March 2019
Developing countries advance WTO reform proposals

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South rallies around proposals to advance developmental agenda
A proposal to highlight development concerns in the ongoing discussions on WTO reform has received backing from a large number of developing countries.
by D. Ravi Kanth

South proposes strengthening WTO to promote development
The joint developing-country proposal on WTO reform aims to “keep development at [the] core” by, among others, redressing existing inequities in the WTO rules and rejecting fresh measures that would further the imbalance.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Developing countries propose an inclusive approach to transparency
Pointing to the difficulties they face in complying with requirements to notify their trade measures to the WTO, a group of developing countries have urged an “inclusive and cooperative approach” to the issue instead of punitive actions against non-compliance.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Reclaiming development in the WTO
A recent panel discussion underlined the imperative of prioritizing the development objective in the WTO’s work – and of safeguarding the flexibilities accorded to developing countries in the WTO rulebook. Kanaga Raja reports.

Trump declares “trade war” against South on S&DT
Even as proposals for development-friendly WTO reforms are being tabled, the US has stepped up its push to deny many developing countries continued recourse to special and differential treatment at the trade body.
by D. Ravi Kanth

EU, Canada agree on interim appeal arbitration arrangement
The EU and Canada have agreed to resort to arbitration to hear appeals of panel reports in trade disputes between the two countries if the WTO’s Appellate Body ends up hamstrung by a lack of members.
by D. Ravi Kanth

Digital transformation aid must not be conditioned on e-commerce rules
Adoption of proposed multilateral rules on electronic commerce should not be made a condition for aid to developing countries, which instead need to first build up their digital economic capacity, heard a recent forum on “aid for digital transformation”.
By Kinda Mohamadieh

Big Tech’s control of consumer data raises concerns
Competition policy should be adapted to the features and business models of digital platforms, whose control of consumers’ data has fuelled concerns over abuse of market power in the digital economy, says a UN development body.
by Kanaga Raja

Vulture funds gain at expense of human rights
The “predatory” practices of vulture funds, which make disproportionate profits on the back of countries experiencing debt distress, have come under critical scrutiny by an expert advisory panel to the UN Human Rights Council.
by Kanaga Raja

Opinion: Understanding global inequality in the 21st century
What is needed to tackle global inequality is not only national policy shifts but changes in the international economic architecture as well, contends Jayati Ghosh.

Opinion: Financialization undermines real economy
The ascendancy of finance not only deprives the real economy of productive resources but also exposes it to the risk of destabilizing crises.
by Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Michael Lim Mah Hui

Opinion: Sustainable development needs a hardware update
With the Sustainable Development Goals currently looking like an elusive target, getting back on course demands not only policy reform but also a reshaping of governance arrangements at all levels from the local to the global, stresses Jens Martens.