Lean Hong Kong Harvest and the Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations
The biennial Ministerial Conferences are the most important event of the WTO regime. The Hong Kong Ministerial Conference was the sixth biennial conference of the WTO, which aimed at a low-level equilibrium and achieved it. While it successfully eschewed another Cancun-like disappointing failure, the Hong Kong Ministerial did not achieve much of substance. If success is defined as not failing, the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference could be adjudged a success. Few bold decisions were attempted and important outstanding decisions were put off for the future. Liberalization of multilateral trade in agriculture was the most important as well as the most contentious issue in Hong Kong. A good number of significant secondary areas were also under negotiations. Core modalities that were to be determined on these issues in Hong Kong were not. A reasonably successful Hong Kong Ministerial Conference would have helped in advancing the Doha Round, which in turn would have meant welfare gains to the global economy, and its different regions and sub-regions. This opportunity was evidently missed.
Volume (Year): 35 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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