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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
20 subjects in 9 broad areas
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)




  • 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

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

where do we stand today
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
why so difficult
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?
why so difficult9
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
what s the way ahead
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
what s the way ahead11
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?