Doha Round, initiated at the 2001 WTO Ministerial
Conference, is often qualified as a "Development"
Round. This qualification raises two main issues.
is the relationship between trade and development?
A series of recent economic studies leave little
doubt that an open trade regime has a positive
impact on growth, if the economy of the country
in question is not too severely distorted (but,
in such a case, distortions should be addressed
by appropriate domestic policies, not by trade
policy). This condition is even more important
when one looks at the positive impact of trade
on development and poverty -- two goals which
require a high level of governance in domestic
should be the nature and extent of the “special
and differential treatment” —the fact that developing
countries have different rights and obligations
than developed countries in the WTO? This difficult
issue is even more accute in the current Doha
Round because developing and developed countries
alike face a situation largely unknown before.
Developing countries are no more an homogeneous
group of countries (one third of the “developing
countries” in the WTO have a GDP per capita higher
than the poorest Member states of the European
Union). And recent years have shown that developing
countries can rapidly enter sectors which, only
a few years ago, were seen as the exclusive territory
of rich economies.
crucial questions are at the core of the Report
on Trade for Development of the UN
Task Force on Trade set up in the context
of the Millennium Development Goals.