Chapter 5: Enter the Developing Economies: Transforming the Landscape of the Multilateral Trade Regime
Patience is power. Patience is skill. With time and patience a mulberry leaf becomes silk. A Chinese Proverb INTRODUCTION Proactive participation of the developing economies in the multilateral trade regime came about belatedly, although they were a part of the GATT/WTO system since its inception (Chapter 2, pp. 34–40). Entry of the developing economies into the multilateral trade scenario has definitively and discernibly transformed the landscape of the multilateral trade regime. It has also swayed the pace, process, substance and spirit of the multilateral trade negotiations (MTNs). In the early stages, being neophytes, the developing economies were not able to perform in a satisfactory manner. Often they failed to achieve the objectives they were striving for. However, gradually they learned the ropes and began to understand the process and substance of the multilateral trade regime. Their performance in the multilateral trade arena has improved perceptibly. This chapter is structured on the following lines. The next section focuses on how the developing economies initially remained passive and then cautiously entered the stage of multilateral trade before launching into active participation in it. The third section delves into the increased participation of the developing economies after the birth of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The difficulties faced by them due to lack of negotiation scholarship and savoir-faire is the subject of the fourth section. Although there were several coalitions among the developing economies, two were of greater significance. The birth and limited success of a small so-called Like-Minded Group (LMG) of...
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