BRIEFING NOTES

Special and differential treatment


Other briefing notes:
Agriculture
Non-agricultural market access (NAMA)
Services
Rules
Intellectual property: geographical indications and biodiversity
Trade and environment
Trade facilitation
> Special and differential treatment
Dispute settlement
E-commerce  
Jargon buster
Country groupings
Briefing note on intellectual property: non-violation complaints

 

See also:
Work on special and differential provisions
Doha declaration
Doha declaration explained


Stronger support for development

Mandate

The WTO agreements contain special provisions which give developing countries special rights and allow other members to treat them more favourably. These are ôspecial and differential treatment provisionsö (abbreviated as S&D or SDT). The special provisions include:

  • longer time periods for implementing agreements and commitments
      
  • measures to increase trading opportunities for these countries
      
  • provisions requiring all WTO members to safeguard the trade interests of developing countries
      
  • support to help developing countries build the infrastructure to undertake WTO work, handle disputes, and implement technical standard
      
  • provisions related to least-developed country (LDC) members

In the Doha Declaration, ministers agreed that all special and differential treatment provisions should be reviewed, in order to strengthen them and make them more precise, effective and operational.

 

Negotiations

Numerous proposals were made by developing and least-developed countries. Most proposals came from the African Group and the group of least-developed countries. They usually identify parts of an agreement and suggest new wording to introduce new S&D provisions for developing countries or to strengthen existing ones. They relate to most WTO agreements, including the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the GATT and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

 

Find out more