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Small States and the Multilateral Trading System

Overcoming Barriers to Participation

image of Small States and the Multilateral Trading System

Developing countries, including as small states and least developed countries (LDCs), continue to face significant challenges within the global trading system. Action is required to allow them to overcome disadvantages and achieve sustainable levels of income from trade.

This study provides a fresh perspective on how measures can be taken to enhance the participation of small states, many of which are Commonwealth countries, in the multilateral trading system. It contributes to the ongoing general debate about reforming the World Trade Organization and global trade governance.

 

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Systemic Issues for the Commonwealth Small States in the Functioning of the World Trade

Recurring standstills in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round of negotiations is rightly spurring debate among the WTO’s members and Secretariat, as well as experts and stakeholders, on the future of the organisation.1 The issues at stake are not new. Amid concerns about the languishing negotiations, WTO members made a collective call at the 2011 WTO Ministerial Conference for the organisation to be improved and its functioning to be strengthened. To date, however, members are yet to make any decisions or provide guidance regarding a process to advance such efforts.

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