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4 - Developing Countries in the WTO Services Negotiations: Doing Enough?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2010

George A. Bermann
Affiliation:
Columbia Law School, New York
Petros C. Mavroidis
Affiliation:
Columbia Law School, New York
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Summary

abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze developing countries' participation thus far in the current round of services negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda. The chapter analyzes developing countries' negotiating positions, as evidenced by their multilateral negotiating proposals; their initial offers; and, to the extent allowed by the incomplete and sketchy information available, their participation in bilateral market access negotiations. Several basic themes are raised: the essential role of services for economic development, the high costs imposed by trade protection, the benefits of liberalization, the need to make use of the WTO forum to enhance credibility and sustain domestic regulatory reform programs, the challenges of regulatory reform and the importance of appropriate sequencing, and the benefits arising from seeking further market access overseas in those areas in which developing countries have a comparative advantage.

Introduction

The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations seems to have entered a decisive phase. Meeting in Hong Kong in December 2005, WTO Members agreed to conclude the negotiations by the end of 2006. In the case of services, revised offers were to be in by end-July 2006, and the final draft schedule of commitments were to be submitted by end-October 2006.

This past year was extremely busy for all WTO Members. The task was particularly challenging for developing countries, which have been active participants in the services negotiations since the very beginning in the early days of 2000.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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