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The Doha Development Agenda Brief Overview. What do you know about the DDA?. Introduction. Its officially the longest round of multilateral trade negotiations – 10 years and probably counting Development at its core – needs & interests of developing countries at the centre

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  • Its officially the longest round of multilateral trade negotiations – 10 years and probably counting

  • Development at its core – needs & interests of developing countries at the centre

  • Members converged on the potential of the Round to deliver on growth and development

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20 subjects in 9 broad areas:

  • Agriculture (including Cotton added in 2003)

  • Services

  • Non agricultural market access (NAMA)

  • TRIPS (multilateral system for registration & notification of geographical indications)

  • WTO Rules (AD, Subsidies, RTAs)

  • Trade and Environment

  • Special and Differential Treatment

  • Trade Facilitation (added in 2004)

  • DSU (outside Single-Undertaking)

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  • Council For Trade In Services

  • TRIPS Council

  • Dispute Settlement Body

  • Committee On Agriculture( SS on Cotton)

  • Committee On Trade and Development

  • Committee On Trade and Environment




  • Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA)

  • Rules

  • Trade Facilitation

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1995 Uruguay Round agreements,new WTO: goods, services, intellectual property

2000 Agriculture, services talks start March

1996 MC, 1998 50th, 1999 Seattle MC

2001 Doha Agenda launched November

2003 Cancún ministerial fails September

2004 Frameworks 1 August

2005 Hong Kong ministerial Dec

2006 -2007suspension 6 months

2009 – 7th Ministerial Conference

2008 – July Mini-Ministerial failure

2010 G20 process, Small groups

2011 Window of opportunity?

8th Ministerial Conference

2009 – Global Economic Crisis

2010 March stocktaking

The DDA Journey

Pre-history(before UR): only goods

Now: revised rules new commitments

Future: rules revised again,more commitments

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Where do we stand today?

  • 80% of negotiation done, but still no political will to conclude

  • 21 April documents reflecting product of work in all areas: impressive & realistic

  • Major stumbling block currently is NAMA sectorals – clear political gap

  • But, there are also other issues than NAMA which remain outstanding

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Why So Difficult?

  • Launch of Round not well prepared?

  • Increase and diversity in WTO membership- 153?

  • Overloaded negotiating agenda?

  • The Single Undertaking bringing together market opening and rule-making?

  • Out-dated agenda?

  • Diminishing of value of exchange rates (Ag & NAMA) with passage of time?

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Why so difficult?

  • Effect of the economic crisis?

  • Reflection of the wider discontent in questioning globalization

  • Current impasse is problematic, but not discomforting in some quarters

  • Other avenues to pursue trade opening e.g. RTAs

  • Electoral cycles

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What’s the way ahead

  • No one is dropping the Round or the principles under which it has operated

  • Members are in a period of reflection

  • Recognition that three options will not work:

    • Business as usual

    • Stopping and starting from scratch

    • Drifting away and wishing issues will disappear

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What’s the way ahead

  • TNC Chair currently consulting the whole membership about the way ahead

  • Ministerial gatherings for political energy: APEC, OECD

  • TNC 31 May, Chairman to report back on what he has heard

  • Work is on-going in some NGs (TF, DSU)

  • Way ahead for DDA in light of MC8 in December?