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Developing Countries at Doha: A Political Economy Analysis

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  • Arvind Panagariya

Abstract

This paper offers a political economy analysis of the Doha Ministerial Conference with special reference to developing countries. One of my key objectives is to understand the politics underlying the negotiations with a view to assessing the influence developing countries exerted on the outcome and the success they achieved in relation to the Uruguay Round Agreement, which is widely perceived as favouring mainly if not exclusively the developed countries. The main conclusions of the paper may be summarised as follows. First, with trade liberalisation as its central focus, the Doha negotiating agenda is to be welcomed from the viewpoint of developing countries. Second, the opposition by developing countries to the inclusion of at least some of the Singapore issues at Doha is defensible. Among other things, the countries lack the necessary negotiating and implementation capacity. Third, while the UR Agreement benefited both developing and developed countries, on balance, it benefited the latter more. The Doha outcome offers a better balance when taken by itself but does not go so far as to significantly correct the imbalance in the UR Agreement. Fourth, despite this better balance, the Doha negotiations offer little evidence of a shift in the relative bargaining powers of developing and developed countries. Nor can the superficially development friendly language of the Doha Declaration be viewed as signalling the softening of the tough negotiating stance developed countries took during the UR Round. Fifth, much of the negotiating power continues to reside with developed countries. Relatively equal levels of incomes gives greater coherence to interests of developed countries on issues that divide along North-South lines. Moreover, the presence of three large players - the USA, EU and Japan - allows them to exploit their bargaining power more effectively. Finally, to negotiate more effectively in the future, developing countries must improve their research capacity, think strategically and forge coalitions with other influential WTO members - whether developed or developing. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2002.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 25 (2002)
Issue (Month): 9 (09)
Pages: 1205-1233

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:25:y:2002:i:9:p:1205-1233

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References

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  1. Finger, J. Michael & Schuknecht, Ludger, 1999. "Market access advances and retreats : the Uruguay Round and beyond," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2232, The World Bank.
  2. Arvind Panagariya, 2003. "TRIPS and the WTO An Uneasy Marriage," International Trade 0309002, EconWPA.
  3. Finger, Michael J. & Schuler, Philip, 1999. "Implementation of Ururguay Round commitments : the development challenge," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2215, The World Bank.
  4. Martin, W. & Winters, L.A., 1995. "The Uruguay Round and the Developing Countries," World Bank - Discussion Papers 307, World Bank.
  5. Ingco, Merlinda D., 1995. "Agricultural trade liberalization in the Uruguay Round : one step forward, one step back?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1500, The World Bank.
  6. Finger, J. Michael & Nogues, Julio J., 2001. "The unbalanced Ururguay Round outcome : the new areas in future WTO negotiations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2732, The World Bank.
  7. Arvind Panagariya, 2003. "India at Doha:Retrospect and Prospect," International Trade 0308016, EconWPA.
  8. Arvind PANAGARIYA, 2000. "The Millennium Round And Developing Countries: Negotiating Strategies And Areas Of Benefits," G-24 Discussion Papers 1, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  9. Finger, J Michael, 1981. "Policy Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1270-71, December.
  10. Kenneth A. Reinert, 2000. "Give Us Virtue, But Not Yet: Safegaurd Actions Under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 25-55, 01.
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Cited by:
  1. Arvind Panagariya, 2004. "Aid Through Trade: An Effective Option?," International Trade 0403006, EconWPA.
  2. Mehdi Abbas, 2011. "Mondialisation et développement. Quelle soutenabilité au régime de l'organisation mondiale du commerce ?," Post-Print halshs-00602996, HAL.
  3. Christian Bjørnskov & Kim Martin Lind, 2005. "Underlying Policies in the wto, the Harbinson Proposal and the Modalities Agreement," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(6), pages 1385-1412.
  4. Khorana, Sangeeta, 2008. "The Developmental Relevance of Tariff Rate Quotas as a Market Access Instrument: An Analysis of Swiss Agricultural Imports," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 9(2).
  5. Rena, Ravinder, 2005. "Developing Countries And Their Participation In The Wto In Making Trade Policy – An Analysis," MPRA Paper 10367, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2006.
  6. Ozden, Caglar & Reinhardt, Eric, 2003. "The perversity of preferences : GSP and developing country trade policies, 1976 - 2000," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2955, The World Bank.
  7. Ravinder Rena, 2008. "WTO and Agricultural Trade – Some Issues and Perspectives," KASBIT Journal of Management & Social Science, Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT), vol. 1, pages 49-60, December.

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