International Trade Working Paper

The International Trade Working Paper series promptly documents and disseminates reviews, analytical work and think-pieces to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to stimulate debates and discussions on issues that are of interest to developing countries in general and Commonwealth members in particular. The issues considered in the papers may be evolving in nature, leading to further work and refinement at a later stage.


Post Nairobi: Perspectives on Potential New Issues in the WTO

The final paragraph of the ministerial declaration of the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference, held in Nairobi, Kenya, created the possibility of bringing so-called ‘new issues’ to the WTO. Whilst the declaration does not provide a mandate to negotiate or make any mention or details of the ‘other issues’, there is an urgent need to objectively examine some of the potential ‘new issues’, with a view to developing a better understanding among the Commonwealth developing countries of these, particularly with respect to least-developed countries (LDCs), small states and sub-Saharan African countries. The goal of so-doing is to assist them in identifying their own interests and concerns regarding these issues and, hence, enable their better-informed and active participation in various informal discussions. The purpose of this International Trade Working Paper is meeting this need. After briefly discussing some general contextual and background points about the new issues, the paper provides a brief but comprehensive analysis of several new issues. It concludes by offering some reflections and recommendations for the consideration of Commonwealth developing countries, in particular LDCs, small states and sub-Saharan African countries.


Keywords: small states, WTO, LDCs, trade technology, trade and investment, 10th WTO Ministerial Conference, Nairobi, Sub-Saharan Africa
JEL: F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
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