Tracing the Effects of WTO Accession on Policy-making in Sovereign States: Preliminary Lessons from the Recent Experience of Transition Countries
We examine in this paper the effects of WTO Accession on policy-making and institutional reforms in transition countries. This is done by looking at the experience of those transition countries which are already Members of the WTO and/or which have recently acceded. We start by trying to distinguish between effects of accession negotiations and from those which are the results of autonomous policy initiatives. The areas of domestic policy-making which are considered in the analysis include market access, governance, government budget, structural reforms, trade and investment arrangements with regional partners and macroeconomic management. We find that no precise blueprint of accession conditions can be ascertained and argue that the WTO played a role, albeit not an exclusive one, in the process of liberalisation. We also find that the costs of WTO Accession are not negligible, but that the benefits of WTO Membership are significant in terms of improved, more predictable, market access and its stability, improved governance and a recourse to better economic policies without significant loss to government revenues. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Volume (Year): 27 (2004)
Issue (Month): 7 (07)
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