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World Trade and Development Report 2003   
World Trade and Development Report 2003
Report Prepared by - RIS
(Research and Information System for the Non-Aligned       and Other Developing Countries)
Paper Back Book    :   Pages : 130
2003  Edition         :   ISBN - 81-7188-330-3
Price : Rs. 395.00   :   US $ 20.00
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The completion of the Uruguay Round with the setting up of WTO in 1995 marked an important turning point for the world economy. What started as a process of trade liberalization under GATT has come to embrace broader parameters of policy hitherto subject to decision-making at the national levels. The ministerial conferences of WTO evoke a lot of interest among the policy makers and the civil society given the critical effect of their decisions for development patterns.

The Uruguay Round also signified a new trend in the multilateral trade negotiations. In this Round, developing countries undertook far heavier commitments than developed countries. Developed countries not only have emerged as beneficiaries of the Round, they have been resistant to giving any market access that had been promised. In fact, signs of a protectionist backlash are visible. The effects of the asymmetries in the process of trade liberalization are clearly evident in the form of declining shares of world trade, terms of trade, growth and equity in the developing world. These trends do not bode well for the long-term sustainability of the world trading system.

The Doha Ministerial Conference attempted to restore the emphasis on development in the WTO. The progress since the Doha Ministerial, however, has been far from satisfactory. Almost all the deadlines proposed have been missed. On the other hand, pressure is mounting on developing countries to agree to give the negotiating mandate on the Singapore Issues at the Cancun Ministerial.

It is clear that the multilateral trade negotiations have failed to liberalize the trade and industrial policy regimes in the world’s richest and most developed countries that could have enabled equitable sharing of the fruits of globalization.

The World Trade and Development Report 2003 examines the trends and asymmetries in the emerging multilateral trading system from a development perspective. It also outlines an agenda for developing countries for the Cancun Ministerial and beyond to restore the development focus and - more importantly - popular confidence in the multilateral trading system.

The Report argues that the trade liberalization should be seen as a ‘means’ and not the ‘end by itself’. The ‘end’ beyond any doubt should be sustainable development in all parts of the world, with principles of efficiency and equity providing the basis.


RIS is an autonomous policy think-tank, based in New Delhi, specialized in trade and development issues. Its work programme focuses on multilateral trade negotiations, regional economic cooperation in Asia, new technologies and development, among other issues. The work of RIS is published in the form of research Reports, books, discussion papers and journals. For more information about RIS and its work programme, please visit its website:


World trade and development report 2003

1.  World Trading System and Developing Countries:
     Agenda for Cancun and Beyond
An Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • WTO, Rising Protectionism and Development: An Analysis of Trends and Their Implications
  • Singapore Issues
  • Agreement on Agriculture
  • Non-Agricultural Market Access
  • TRIPs, Public Health, Traditional Knowledge and Geographical Indicators
  • Agreement on Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures
  • Dispute Settlement Understanding
  • Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT) for Developing Countries
  • Some Issues for a Developing Countries’ Position at Cancun and Beyond
2.  WTO, Rising Protectionism and Development
  • Introduction
  • Market Access in Agriculture, Industry and Services: Chasing a Mirage
  • Protectionist Industrial Policy and Strategic Trade Policy
  • Implications of WTO Process for Development
  • Concluding Remarks and Policy Lessons
3.  Singapore Issues: Investment, Competition Policy,
     Government Procurement and Trade Facilitation
  • Introduction
  • Trade and Investment
  • Trade and Competition Policy
  • Transparency in Government Procurement
  • Trade Facilitation
  • Concluding Remarks
4.  Agreement on Agriculture and Developing Countries
  • Introduction
  • The Three Pillars of AoA
  • Different Proposals for AoA
  • Challenges before Developing Countries
  • Key Points of Interests for Negotiations on Agriculture
5.  Market Access for Non-Agriculture Sector
  • Introduction
  • The Doha Mandate: A Comment
  • Priorities for Developing Countries
  • The Present Status of Negotiation on Modalities
  • Proposals
  • Concluding Remarks
6.  TRIPs, Public Health, Traditional Knowledge and Geographical Indications
  • Introduction
  • TRIPs and Public Health
  • Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge
  • Geographical Indications
  • Concluding Remarks and Policy Imperatives
7.  Environmental Requirements and Market Access for
     Developing Countries: Implementation Related Concerns
  • Introduction
  • Impact on Trade of Developing Countries
  • Outstanding Implementation Concerns
  • What is Implemented?
  • Concluding Remarks and Policy Imperatives
8.  Issues in Disputes Settlement Understanding:
     Developing Countries Perspective
  • Introduction
  • Objectives of the DSU
  • The DSU and Developing Countries – Some Trends
  • Constraints Faced by Developing Countries in the Functioning of the DSU
  • Facilitating Developing Countries Participation in DSU
9.  Issues in Special and Differential Treatment
  • Introduction
  • The Evolution of S&DT in GATT and WTO
  • S&DT Provision in Different WTO Agreements
  • Concluding Remarks and the Future Agenda
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