The current Round of trade negotiations is the first ‘Development Round’. Given the challenges of addressing development issues in the context of trade negotiations in the WTO which is not a development institution it should not be surprising that the current negotiations are proving extremely difficult.
The WTO remains however the core of the rules-based system of international trade governance providing also the rules for RTAs that are still growing rapidly both in number and in scope and coverage.
The WTO was established in 1995 as the institutional anchor of the multilateral trading system. Since then significant developments have taken place on the trade agenda as well as in the participation of developing countries in the WTO.
This collection of papers provides an African perspective on the first decade of the WTO. Substantive trade issues such as agriculture remain despite their declining importance in terms of overall economic activity even in African countries of key importance to Africa.
Key issues on the agriculture agenda are not addressed on the Regional Trade Arrangement (RTA) agenda and so the WTO remains the only forum within which to address these. Africa is still engaging at the margins of the international economy and this collection of papers explores some of the challenges as well as prospects for Africa within the WTO.
© 2009 Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa
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