The World Trade Organization in the New Global Economy

The World Trade Organization in the New Global Economy

Trade and Investment Issues in the New Millennium Round

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Alan M. Rugman and Gavin Boyd

Despite the disruption of the multilateral trade talks at Seattle in December 1999, the work of the World Trade Organization (WTO) continues. The trade and investment issues that have been outstanding since the Seattle events are explored in this far reaching book. The distinguished contributors combine several analytical approaches for a comprehensive assessment of the trends, problems and opportunities demanding attention in international trade negotiations.

Chapter 9: Openness, growth and development: trade and investment issues for developing economies

Nigel Pain

Subjects: business and management, international business, economics and finance, international economics


Nigel Pain1 I INTRODUCTION Developing countries have expanded their share of international trade and investment significantly over the past decade. Numerically they now dominate the present 139 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) (as of October 2000) and a further 30 countries are seeking to join, including China and Russia. Although this would seem to place developing countries in a position from which to exert a much stronger voice over trade negotiations, the last few years have seen many of them become increasingly disenchanted with the operations of the WTO and the global trading system in general. Several experienced considerable social and economic disruption during the financial turmoil in emerging markets in 1997 and 1998, casting doubt on the benefits of greater international integration. Many feel that the industrialized countries are delaying the implementation of their obligations arising out of the Uruguay Round agreements. The Ministerial talks in Seattle in 1999 were a failure, with developing countries feeling that their interests and concerns were being neglected in the negotiating agenda. Inevitably this has reduced the enthusiasm of many governments for participating in further rounds of trade and investment talks and has raised hostility towards the WTO in parts of civil society. Yet international trade and investment liberalization are far from complete, suggesting that it may still be worthwhile to pursue reforms to the multilateral trading system that seek to improve market access. The objective of this chapter is to assess the evidence for the proposition that the...

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