World Trade Review

Strengthening the global trade architecture for development: the post Doha agenda

a1 The World Bank and CEPR


Despite recurring rounds of trade liberalization under GATT/WTO auspices, complemented by unilateral reforms, many developing countries have not been able to integrate into the world economy. This paper argues that, from the perspective of the poorest countries, a multi-pronged strategy is required to strengthen the global trading system and that much of the agenda must be addressed outside the WTO. The most important contribution the WTO can make from a development perspective is to improve market access conditions – for goods and services – and ensure that trade rules are useful to developing countries. Enhancing trade capacity requires concerted action outside the WTO (‘aid for trade’) as well as unilateral actions by both industrialized and developing countries to reduce anti-trade biases.

c1 Correspondence: [left angle bracket][right angle bracket]. The views expressed in this paper are personal and should not be attributed to the World Bank, its affiliated organizations, or the members of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. I am grateful to two referees, Ataman Aksoy, Jagdish Bhagwati, Richard Blackhurst, John Cuddy, Uri Dadush, Mike Finger, Carsten Fink, Will Martin, Keith Maskus, Aaditya Mattoo, Anne McGuirk, Patrick Messerlin, Constantine Michalopoulos, Marcelo Olarreaga, Susan Prowse, Richard Newfarmer, Sarath Rajapatirana, T. N. Srinivasan, Edith Wilson, John S. Wilson and Alan Winters for helpful comments, suggestions and discussions. The arguments in this paper draw in part on the results of a collaborative trade research and capacity-building project that has been supported financially by the UK Department for International Development, the Ministry of Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Société Générale de Surveillance, and the World Bank.