World Trade Organization (WTO) Meeting 2005

The 6th WTO ministerial in Hong Kong will be held from 13 to 18 December 2005. An ambitious Doha Round is in the interest of most developing countries. There is however a risk that the Hong Kong ministerial will end in either acrimony, much as the Cancún ministerial did in 2003, or stalemate, given the apparent lack of consensus on issues considered to be critical. These include:

  • How can the WTO incorporate SDT for developing countries in a rule-based system designed to be non-discriminatory?
  • Will the round address the mandate to make SDT more precise, effective and operational, despite problems in finding consensus on the 88 proposals made?
  • How can the issue of SDT be linked to technical assistance, support for reducing supply-side constraints and preference erosion (Aid for Trade)?
  • What types of gains can developing countries expect from the three pillars of agricultural trade liberalisation, including reductions in tariffs, domestic support and export subsidies?
  • Will the deadlock between the negotiating positions of the EU, US, G20 and other groups be resolved prior to the ministerial?
  • There are now around 60 countries with GATS offers, but very few African countries have fully engaged in these negotiations. What benefits can GATS bring to developing countries? And how can they best achieve this?
  • What progress can be made on issues such as Mode 4 (temporary movement service providers) during Hong Kong?
  • What type of effects do we expect from both EPAs between the EU and ACP regions and WTO liberalisation on developing countries?
  • How does the expansion of regional and bilateral trade agreements affect the developing countries ability to engage in multilateral agreements?

Hong Kong

Regional integration and poverty

Books or book chapters | January 2006 | Edited by Dirk Willem te Velde
This book examines the channels through which regional integration affects poverty and analyses empirically the effects on foreign direct investment.

Water and GATS: Lots of smoke but where exactly is the fire?

Comment | 2 December 2005 | Tom Slaymaker, Peter Newborne, Sven Grimm and Dirk Willem te Velde

'The prospect of developing countries making commitments on trade in water services under the General Agreement of Trade in Services has given rise to considerable controversy. Subsequent debates have revealed a great deal of confusion and have tended to...

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Globalisation and Education

Briefing papers | September 2005 | Dirk Willem te Velde and Simon McGrath

This paper examines the links between globalisation and education and discusses appropriate roles for government in reconciling the processes of globalisation with education and training systems.


Regional Integration and Poverty

Briefing papers | March 2005 | Dirk Willem te Velde

This briefing paper looks at the worth of regional integration in reducing poverty, suggesting we should be cautious in our expectations of poverty reduction in the poorest of countries.


Special and Differential Treatment in post-Cotonou Services Negotiations

Research reports and studies | February 2004 | Dirk Willem te Velde, Ian Gillson and Sheila Page

The principle objective of the study is to assess the costs and benefits of SDT options in possible EPA negotiations on services in the CARIFORUM-EC context. The study will focus predominantly on key sectors in representative Caribbean countries.