The launch of a new trade round in Doha in November 2001 was a major breakthrough following the discord in Seattle in 1999. The Doha Round is the first set of multilateral trade negotiations in which the needs and interests of developing countries have been officially declared a priority and whose conclusion deemed essential. However, the failure of the Doha negotiations in Cancun in September 2003 was a major setback. The trade talks are now stalled in several policy domains vital to developing countries such as agriculture, non-farm trade, access to patented drugs, special and differential treatment and dispute settlement, and in areas of interest to the developed countries such as the "Singapore issues" dealing with investment, competition, trade facilitation and government procurement This paper discusses the reasons behind the failure, its wider implications as well as the policies that member governments of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will need to make to move beyond Cancun.
- Developing countries
- Doha round