September 26, 2006 SAARC News
The SCCI session entitled “Stocktaking on WTO Negotiations: Concerns of Developing Countries” highlighted and raised issues of developing countries, particularly South Asia, at an international forum.
The WTO has proved to be a powerful means for countries to promote economic growth and development. Trade liberalisation under multilateral negotiations is essential because it provides an opportunity for countries to gain visible benefits from their exports and from opening up of domestic and
international markets. However, over the past few years, the progress of WTO has been unstable.
The speakers of the SCCI session at the WTO Public Forum. (from left to right): Martin Khor, Director, Third World Network, Malaysia, Rashid S. Kaukab, Head, Strategic Policy, Planning and Coordination, South Centre, Geneva, Dr. Manzoor Ahmad, Pakistan Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the WTO, Geneva, Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji, President SCCI and Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International, India .
Recently, the Doha talks have been postponed over which the South Asian business community is disappointed. This session addressed the concerns of both developing and least developing countries (LDCs) with special interest of the private sector regarding the WTO negotiations. It tackled issues that must be addressed to successfully conclude the Doha Round of negotiations without suppressing the interest of the developing countries. Moreover, the session highlighted the need to design the global trading system with the widest participation of all WTO members and communities that would be affected by the outcomes, particularly the poorest and most marginalised.
The SCCI President, Dasho Ugen Tsechup Dorji addressed the session and stated that the South Asian countries have a strong desire to bring the WTO negotiations back on track. “The future of the global trading system must be designed with the widest participation of all WTO members and communities that would be affected by the outcomes, particularly the poorest and most marginalised. Furthermore, the conflicting interest of the developed and developing countries needs to be reconciled and fair compromise needs to be worked out if the overall aim is to promote global development”, he said.
The session stressed the desire of South Asian countries to bring the WTO negotiations back on track. It provided useful insights about what should be done to move forward with the negotiations and reconcile the differences and conflicting interests of the developed and developing countries to promote a multilateral trading system and overall global development.