Developing countries in the WTO services negotiations

The aim of this paper is to analyse developing countries’ participation so far in the current round of services negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda. The paper analyses developing countries’ negotiating positions, as evidenced by their multilateral negotiating proposals; their initial offers; and, to the extent allowed by the incomplete and sketchy information available, their participation in bilateral market access negotiations. A number of basic themes are raised: the essential role of services for economic development; the high costs imposed by trade protection; the benefits of liberalization; the need to make use of the WTO forum to enhance credibility and sustain domestic regulatory reform programmes; the challenges of regulatory reform and the importance of appropriate sequencing; and the benefits arising from seeking further market access overseas in those areas where developing countries have a comparative advantage.

No: ERSD-2004-06


Juan A. Marchetti — WTO

Manuscript date: September 2004

Key Words

GATS, trade in services, developing countries, liberalization, domestic policy reform

JEL classification numbers  

D78, F10, F13


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This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. This paper represents the opinions of individual staff members or visiting scholars, and is the product of professional research. It is not meant to represent the position or opinions of the WTO or its Members, nor the official position of any staff members. Any errors are the fault of the authors. Copies of working papers can be requested from the divisional secretariat by writing to: Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization, rue de Lausanne 154, CH 1211 Genčve 21, Switzerland. Please request papers by number and title.

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