Harsha Vardhan Singh, Deputy Director General, WTO

Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS


Chapter 1:
South Asian Countries in the Doha Development Round: Need for Better Coordination
Bipul Chatterjee, Deputy Executive Director, CUTS
Joseph George, Research Associate, CUTS



Over the last couple of decades or so, South Asian countries are experiencing significant changes in their trade and economic policies. This book explores the commonalities and differences of South Asian countries' interests in some major areas of Doha Round negotiations. South Asian countries are urged to take their issue-specific positions forward by participating in the deliberations of various coalitions of WTO Members and to adopt a more coordinated approach to discuss those positions among themselves so that they have better understanding of each other's interests.

ISBN: 978-81-8257-150-1

Some Reflections


South Asian countries have a huge stake in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. Unlike many other regions, there is not much coordination between and among South Asian countries in collectively putting their demands in the negotiating table. CUTS has done a commendable job in highlighting issues on which these countries have common interest and in bringing together state and non-state actors in the process of trade policy-making and trade negotiations.

Atiur Rahman
Governor, Bangladesh Bank

The South Asian region presents an unusual canvas of contrasting images, of rapid progress and deep poverty. The common challenges and the compulsions of economics and geography demand common approaches and cooperative solutions. While the SAARC process seeks to do so at the regional level, similar approaches are also required at the multilateral level. The SAFIT project has sought to address this need in the Doha Round negotiations. Its persistent efforts to identify common ground for South Asian countries in the negotiations are commendable.

Ujal Singh Bhatia
Ambassador of India to the WTO (2004-2010)

This book provides a rich resume of South Asian countries' participation in selected issues of WTO Doha Round negotiations. During the early years of WTO negotiations, South Asian countries cooperated closely to safeguard their defensive interests, which were similar. Recently, however, such cooperation has been lagging behind other regions. Now that their economies have gone through a process of unilateral liberalisation, they need to focus on offensive interest, where their mutual cooperation would still be vital. Furthermore, in addition to the market access issues, they can achieve much better results by closer alignment of their positions on new issues such as intellectual property rights, trade and environment, aid for trade and trade facilitation, etc.

Manzoor Ahmad
Ambassador of Pakistan to the WTO (2002-2008)

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This book has been released by Harsha Vardhan Singh, Deputy Director General, WTO at a function in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 19, 2011.

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