Working Paper
Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries

Does It Help Those Who Help Themselves?

This paper reviews main S&D provisions for developing countries under the GATT-WTO trading system and discusses issues relating to the future of S&D treatment from the perspective of the least-developed countries (LDCs). It argues that negotiations on S&D provisions in the next trade round must take the question of trade capacity building seriously. This would require WTO Members to make binding commitments to meeting the special need of LDCs in terms of market access and technical assistance. Despite design flaws and deficiencies involved in various S&D provisions under the WTO Agreements, there is little reason to believe that the move back to the past approach to S&D treatment would be desirable for LDCs.