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Special and Differential Treatment of developing countries in the World Trade Organization

The issue of special and differential treatment (SDT) for developing countries under the WTO system has been a subject of debate for a number of years. At present there are no general criteria – no agreed framework – for determining what SDT measures should be applied or what purpose they should serve. Nor are the aggregate development effects of existing provisions known. These effects therefore need to be analysed and ways of reaching an overall SDT framework agreement explored. Alternatives to a comprehensive framework agreement could also be explored.

The immediate aim of the proposed EGDI study is to put forward solutions based on the kinds of rules likely to further development and capable of attracting support. This will help get a constructive SDT discussion under way within the WTO. Furthermore, the study should come up with clear policy recommendations for the formulation of Swedish policy that can be used by Swedish policymakers as input to the EU, and possibly lay the ground for EU proposals in the WTO. It should take previous studies into account and include analyses of Member Countries’ own discussion papers, including those presented in the WTO Committee on Trade and Development (CTD). However, the analyses should not be restricted to proposals already made.

Staff

Sheila Page

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