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Trade beyond Doha

Prospects for the Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries

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Focusing on the Least Developed Countries located in the Asia-Pacific region, this study explores the impact of different approaches available to the LDCs and their partners in improving their developmental prospects through enhanced trade. It presents trade related data of the 14 LDCs and the linkage between trade and economic development. It analyses market access and studies increasing protectionist measures faced by LDCs during the crisis period. It explores reciprocal trade liberalization policies (bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral) from various perspectives in order to better understand their differences, interaction and impact on LDCs and more developed countries. It also discusses possible options to improve the capacity of LDCs to tap their trade potential and integrate more effectively into the global economy.

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Introduction

After 10 years of unfruitful negotiations, the world’s main trading economies remain far apart over a global agreement on the new international trade liberalization concessions and rules. The Doha Round of negotiations, also known as the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), was launched in 2001 with the aim of continuing to make markets more accessible for all WTO members, but especially for developing countries, since one of the Round’s fundamental objectives is to improve these countries’ trading and development prospects. However, after four ministerial conferences and several high-level group meetings, the Round is still at an impasse and its outcome remains uncertain.

English

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