DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDAback to top Lamy: “We can stay on track to successfully conclude the Round next
Director-General Pascal Lamy reported to the General Council on 14
December that “an increasing level of engagement” is starting to
appear in consultations by the Chairs of the negotiating groups.
He stressed the “need to maintain the rhythm of the informal work
... to exploit the window of opportunity in the first quarter of
In an online chat on 18 December 2006, he said that “I am doing my
best to push things as hard as possible and I am seeing some positive
signs”. However, he is “still waiting for some of the more important
members to convert their expressions of increased flexibility into
numbers”. Mr. Lamy fielded more than 100 questions in English, French
and Spanish from around the world.
Council establishes transparency mechanism for regional trade agreements
General Council, on 14 December, established on a provisional basis
a new transparency mechanism for all regional trade agreements
of the meeting
ACTIVITIESback to top Provisional agreement on text of revised Government
Government procurement negotiators reached an understanding on the
revision of the text of the 1994 plurilateral Agreement on Government
Procurement at a meeting of the Committee on Government Procurement on
facility at WTO to enhance communication with public
WTO has expanded its media relations, information and training
activities with a new television studio at its headquarters in
DEVELOPMENT back to top Agencies agree plan for food safety, animal/plant health assistance
international organizations, donors and representatives of beneficiary
countries have approved, on 18 December, a new medium term strategy
for their joint efforts to help developing countries implement internationally-agreed
standards for food safety and animal and plant health.
European Communities awards EUR 500,000 to regional training courses
for developing countries
European Communities has donated EUR 500,000 to contribute to the
Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, which brings the EC’s
involvement up to EUR 1.2 million.
WTO Trade Policy Course ends
government officials from developing countries, least-developed
countries and economies in transition concluded, on 8 December,
a three-month immersion into the WTO.
POLICY REVIEWSback to top Hong Kong, China: Strong open economy in expansion, capable
of facing challenges
Trade Policy Review Body, on 13 and 15 December, conducted the
fifth review of the trade policies and practices of Hong Kong,
China. The review was chaired by Amb. Claudia Uribe (Colombia).
Amb. Mario Matus (Chile) acted as discussant.
performance of the Hong Kong, China economy and its outlook have
greatly improved since 2003, largely as a result of its continued
openness to trade and foreign investment as well as a solid services
sector, the driving force behind growth, according to a WTO Secretariat
report on the trade policies and practices of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region of China (HKSAR).
report notes inter alia the importance of recent developments in
the enforcement of intellectual property rights protection, the
prospects for a comprehensive competition law, rice trade liberalization
and the positive impact of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
with China, which has given an added stimulus to the HKSAR economy.
report also stresses that competitiveness in Hong Kong, China will
remain dependant on maintaining the traditional strengths in the
economy and developing new sources of growth. Potential risks to
its economic growth prospects might come inter alia from a steeper
than expected rise in US interest rates and an outbreak of protectionist
measures against China.
ACCESSIONSback to top Viet Nam to join WTO on 11 January 2007
Nam informed the WTO on 12 December that it has ratified its membership
agreement. It will now become the WTO’s 150th member on 11 January 2007.
DISPUTE SETTLEMENTback to top WTO issues compliance panel report on Argentina-Chile price band dispute
The WTO, on 8 December, issued the report of the compliance panel
in the case brought by Argentina regarding Chile: Price band system
and safeguard measures relating to certain agricultural products
PUBLICATIONS AND REPORTSback to top WTO’s
2006 report highlights developing countries’ growing role in world
countries are playing a growing role in the WTO, not only in the
Doha negotiations but also in the Dispute Settlement process and
in all facets of WTO activity, says Director General Pascal Lamy
in his foreword to the report.