New Delhi, India, Saturday, September 17, 2005


To discuss draft research papers of the above noted project and to provide dialogue and discussion forum to relevant stakeholders on issues relating to the Doha round of Negotiations. Inputs from national seminars will be taken into account while finalising the draft papers.


Member countries of the WTO are engaged in negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda, adopted at the fourth Ministerial Conference of the WTO held at Doha, Qatar in November 2001. However, in reality the Doha round did not take-off as WTO members faltered on almost all the important deadlines. It received a massive jolt when the fifth WTO Ministerial Conference held at Cancun, Mexico collapsed. The process of negotiations remained standstill for the first few Months after Cancun debacle. Finally, on August 1, 2004, the WTO General Council reached a decision on frameworks dubbed as July Package. The framework agreement consists in an overview of general commitments for the Doha agenda, followed by a series of annexes on specific agreements dealing with agriculture, Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA), services and trade facilitation.

However, given the complexities involved in the multilateral trade negotiations, this framework agreement is just a step forward in a long journey to achieve a final agreement as many things are still to be negotiated in the coming days.

The fact is that all players are not on an equal footing. Many developing countries are at a more disadvantageous position in terms of bargaining power and negotiating capacity. Collective analysis, dialogue and action by developing-country governments and civil society organisations are needed at the national, regional and global level to strengthen the linkages between trade, development and poverty reduction. These collective analyses and actions can also be strengthened through seeking common positions and building coalitions between governments and civil society organisations. Thus, it is an imperative for South Asian countries to have arrived at better negotiating positions during the Doha Round of negotiations. In view of the emerging situation, CUTS is conducting research along with partner institutions in South Asia on issues- Agriculture, Non-agricultural market access, Services and Trade facilitation mentioned in the annexes of July package and on development dimension, which includes special & differential treatment, capacity building, technical and financial assistance.

The Event
The event is designed to involve trade negotiators, civil society representatives, academics, media and business representatives in a one-day consultation to deliberate on the five elements of the July Framework Agreement.

The Programme WTO’s July Framework Agreement: Key Issues
Draft South Asian Papers, Agriculture, Non-Agricultural Market Access, Services, Trade Facilitation and development issues, will be discussed.

Venue: Hotel Claridges, 12, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi -110 011

Time: 0900 to 1830 hrs

Day: Saturday 17th September 2005