The article “10th WTO Ministerial Conference : LDC agenda for Nairobi” authored by CPD Research Director Dr Fahmida Khatun, was published by SOUTH ASIA WATCH ON TRADE, ECONOMICS AND ENVIRONMENT (SAWTEE) in Trade Insight Vol. 11, No. 3, 2015, Page 14-19.
When the World Trade Organization (WTO) delivered the Bali Package at the 9th Ministerial Conference (MC9) in 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, it was termed as a historic achievement since the formation of the multilateral trading system in 1995. In a way the Bali Ministerial saved the WTO from becoming a defunct organization with no role in advancing the global economy. Though the Doha Round which began in 2001 at the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference was to be concluded by 2005, the subsequent WTO Conferences failed to reach an agreement due to different positions of member countries on a number of important issues. Some of the most difﬁ cult areas of the Doha Round negotiations have been agricultural and non-agricultural market access, reform of domestic support policies in agriculture and market access of services. The Bali outcome concerning a few important areas thus became a milestone in fulﬁ lling the commitments of the Doha Round. It delivered mainly a three-pronged package, a sub-set of the Doha Round negotiations.
However, the Bali package did not deliver much for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The package only included trade facilitation (TF) along with some agricultural issues and a few developmental proposals. LDCs had tabled their demands before the Bali Ministerial that included issues such as Duty-Free and Quota-Free (DFQF) market access, preferential rules of origins, operationalization of the services waiver, and monitoring mechanism on Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT). However, there were no concrete proposals on these areas for LDCs. More depressing is that little progress has been made since MC9 in fulﬁ lling the decisions undertaken at the Bali Ministerial.
After two years of intense discussions at various committees of the WTO following the Bali conference, the Commerce Ministers of the WTO member countries are set to meet yet again during 15-18 December in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss the Doha Round for the tenth time. LDCs once again look forward to the fulﬁ lment of their interests in the Nairobi package to be presented at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC10). Several proposals have been put forward to various committees of the WTO by LDCs. Their demands are in line with the Doha agenda and Bali package, since many of them largely remain unattended till date.
This write up reviews of some of the issues of the Bali package and highlight LDC agenda that have been put forward by LDCs during the runup to the upcoming MC10.
To see the full article click here.
The article was published in December, before the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya