The World Trade Organisation’s ninth ministerial meeting at Bali, Indonesia has morphed into a fierce battle between the countries seeking social safety nets for hundreds of millions of poor people and those insisting on having advanced import-facilitation programmes in the developing countries on par with the industrialised nations.
As government representatives gather Tuesday in Indonesia for what could be final negotiations towards a global trade agreement under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), environmentalists and social justice campaigners are urging them to specify that water resources cannot be treated as commodities.
For years, it was the power chamber at the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva - the Director General’s Conference Room, more popularly known as the Green Room, where a handful of delegates would gather for important discussions and meetings.
The battle lines are clearly drawn. At a time when food security in the developing countries is snowballing into a major trade conflict between the developed and developing countries, what in reality is at stake is the livelihood security of an estimated 1.5 billion small farmers in the majority world.
A sense of urgency brought on in recent years by food price volatility inspired collective action to reduce the likelihood of further price spikes and food supply shocks.
A fight taking place in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations towards the Bali Ministerial Conference shows how the rules on agriculture allow developed countries to continue to shell out huge subsidies while penalising farmers in developing countries.
On Aug. 31, I will be stepping down after eight years as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Two new trade agreements involving the two economic giants, the United States and the European Union, are leading a charge against the role of the state in the economy of developing countries.
The current discourse on Global Value Chains by key proponents and also the World Trade Organisation (WTO) secretariat is that developing countries should liberalise - in goods and services - and conclude a trade facilitation agreement.
Almost five years have passed since the global financial crisis, and the world economy is still reeling from its consequences. The main reason for this is the continued stagnation in developed countries, which is adversely affecting economic dynamism in other regions.
The old theories governing the way that countries produce and trade are being replaced. The pattern of trade is being transformed by increasingly sophisticated technology and innovations in transportation; and the topography of actors is shifting to reflect new poles of growth.
Brazilian diplomat Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo was named the new director general of the WTO with broad support from the developing world, beating out his Mexican rival Herminio Blanco, who was backed by the industrialised nations.
The complicated challenge of invigorating the debilitated World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the multilateral trade system that it governs will fall, for the next four years and for the first time ever, to a Latin American.
For decades, commodity trade has been understood from the point of view of “commodity dependent” exporting countries, those whose revenues are largely generated by commodities exports. The trend of decreasing agricultural commodity prices was the focus of attention. However, from the beginning of the 2000s, there was an upward trend in agricultural commodity prices culminating in the price peak of 2007-08.
The global economy is facing strong headwinds that have set back world trade and output growth. Despite the measures implemented in many countries to contain the slowdown, production and employment trends continue to be negative. In the light of these developments, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently revised its forecast for world trade growth in 2012
to 2.5 percent, down from the previous 3.7 percent forecast. We foresee a volume of trade growth of 4.5 percent in 2013, below the long-term annual average of five to six percent that we have enjoyed for the last 20 years.