Developing Countries and the WTO Doha Round
Market Access, Rules and Differential Treatment
This paper discusses the challenges confronting developing countries seeking to use WTO negotiations to promote their economic growth and performance. Progress will require that major stakeholders within countries perceive the overall package to be beneficial. A number of possible focal points that could be used as benchmarks for negotiations are discussed, as is the issue of differential and more favorable treatment for developing countries. A precondition for a good development outcome is a significant reduction in barriers to trade in goods and services. This will have a much greater beneficial impact than efforts at multilateral rule-making in regulatory areas. A new approach towards special and differential treatment that involves greater differentiation between members and is based on country-specific economic analysis and criteria would help to enhance the development-relevance of the WTO.