WTO Conference in Hong Kong: just the bare bones
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CTA. 2006. WTO Conference in Hong Kong: just the bare bones. Spore 122. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48048
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore122.pdf
The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, held in December 2005, was reported as a modest but significant step in the current trade negotiation process...
The Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, held in December 2005, was reported as a modest but significant step in the current trade negotiation process. To be sure, establishing detailed modalities, especially in agriculture, by the end of April 2006 remains a major challenge for WTO members. Although some progress has been made, much remains to be done in the three key areas of agricultural negotiations: market access (trade tariffs), domestic support (production subsidies) and export competition (export subsidies) before the deadline. For ACP countries, three positive factors emerged from the conference. The first concerns the commitment to remove all forms of agricultural export subsidies by 2013. The second is the decision by member states to offer more flexibility to countries of the South so that they can protect their markets (special products, deemed to be of strategic importance, especially for national food security, special safeguard clauses and mechanisms designed to protect markets against sudden waves of imports). Finally, all developed and advanced developing countries agreed to remove quotas and trade tariffs for imports from least developed countries (LDC) for 97% of all tariff lines (tariffs defined for each product category). However, achievement of the objectives of the Doha Development Agenda will mainly depend on the willingness of the so-called G4 the group which includes the EU, Brazil, India and the USA to take into account the needs of the poorest countries. Preference erosion is probably the main concern for ACP countries, and these, together with the LDC and the African Union member countries of the G90, will have to continue pushing their own trade agenda and reinforcing the link with the current Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the EU. For more information on the conference and its implications, see the Agritrade website (http://agritrade.cta.int) for daily reports on the conference issued by CTA and the Research and Technological Exchange Group (GRET). Anyone wishing to take part in the electronic forum to prepare ACP countries for the post-Hong Kong negotiations should consult this website: www.dgroups.org/groups/cta/wtohong-kong