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MULTI-LATERAL NEGOTIATIONS: A CASE FOR GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES THE WTO DOHA TRADE ROUND – UNLOCKING THE NEGOTIATIONS AND BEYOND

by on January 24, 2013

doha round, WTO

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multi-lateral negotiations have received relatively little prominence despite insignificant relevance. Organizations and countries have delved into one form of negotiations or the other with the aim to have a considerable ground among warring factions. Multi-lateral negotiations could consist of trade negotiations, peace treaty, arms deal, business opportunities and peace settlement among others. The focus is on the World Trade Organization (WTO)/Doha Trade Negotiation.

According to Bayoumi (2011), the final conclusion and communique to end the Doha trade negotiations by the WTO, ended in a fruitless bid in November 2011 after 10 years of talks despite official efforts made by many world leaders. The premise of this trade negotiation was a result of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) launched in November 2001 at the aftermath of the 9/11 titanic blow in the World Trade Centre in the United States.

It was intended to finalise a broad deal which would facilitate development through trade to better integrate disadvantaged countries into the global economy. The consensus freedom has been stalled severally since 2008 due to issues like tariff reduction benefit on certain industrial goods which has raised its ugly head between emerging market (EM) countries and advanced market (AM) countries.

It could be surmised that the benefits of Doha/WTO trade negotiations would be paramount. Martin and Messerlin (2007) see tariff reductions under Doha leading to global welfare gains. On the contrary, Henn and McDonald (2011), contributed that the success of the multi-lateral negotiations will increase and advance security in foreign trade relationship between countries.

In addition, advanced and increased growth through channels according to Shafaeddin (2005) will reduce poverty. Other benefits as analysed will be enhanced trade liberalization, re-orientation of industrial and agricultural sectors, as well as cost of protection of the tariffs which will result in increased investment and production (Francois and Martin, 2004).

From an institutional viewpoint, multi-lateral negotiations on the crucial Doha issue definitely have a desirable side effect which would be hinged on the following points:

  • Monitoring of protectionist measures.
  • Food and energy security
  • Working towards an open regionalism
  • Trade-related climate change issues
  • Government procurement
  • Allowing for plurilateral agreements
  • Competition policy

 

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Picture on the right: EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson

 

Despite these global benefits, the Doha round talks as earlier indicated failed to reach a compromise in November 2011. It could be deduced that the failure to achieve the global trade liberalization through the Doha Round table negotiations, the many benefits to be derived from trade treaty is going to be a mirage and as such will affect multi-lateral trade liberalization in a long while.

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WTO director-General Pascal Lamy (L) talks with Nigerian Trade Minister Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga during the opening of the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland (2011).

The big question is how will the broken leg of the WTO be lifted up again since the multi-lateral trade negotiations is only one of the legs on which this organization stands. By breaking this leg, the costs of bringing together member countries might be too unimaginable.

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REFERENCES

Bayoumi, T (2011). The WTO Doha Trade Round – Unlocking the Negotiations and Beyond.International Monetary Fund.(Online). Available at: http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2011/111611.pdf. Accessed 24th January 2013

Henn, C. and McDonald, B. (2011). Protectionist Responses to the Crisis: Damaged Observed in Product-Level Trade. IMF Working Paper 11 (139), Washington: International Monetary Fund

Martin, W. and Messerlin, P. (2007). Why is it so difficult? Trade Liberalization on the Doha Agenda. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 23, pp. 347 – 366.

Shafaeddin, S. (2005). Trade Liberalization and Economic Reform in Developing Countries: Structural Change or De-Industrialisation? UNCTAD Discussion Papers 179, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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One Comment
  1. haytami1 permalink

    Although Multi-Lateral Negotiations are popular in the world, still two part negotiations are preferable in most cases, the Secret or parallel negotiations is new diplomatic way which already produced a number of good results.

    the Negotiation parties normally choose secret destination to shut the door from the Media and my be other parts interested to involve negatively, so we can see USA amd Russia discussed the matter of Syria in Geneva, Switzerland early December 2012, to made less the difference towards Russia with out inviting even other parties involved the Conflict, like Turkey, Gulf States and Iran.

    The most cases that multi-lateral negotiations works are when every thing is public and not involved any secret matters, so each country will suggest how the see the out door of the certain issue.

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