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Forum for the Future of Aid

Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

The Forum on the Future of Aid is an online community dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next

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Development package at the WTO? What do developing countries want from the Doha round?

By Sheila Page, Massimiliano Calì and Dirk Willem te Velde

[Introduction]:The idea of what a minimum level for a ‘development package’ implies has been evolving throughout the Doha round, following the interaction between the different negotiating positions. Almost every country has today a definition of its own specific interests in the trading system. The old model of developing countries led by a few major countries or outside advisers no long holds. As the latest ‘final negotiations’ begin, this paper aims to summarise which of the issues still under negotiation are priorities for different developing countries. From the beginning of the negotiations, it has been clear that (as it was in the Uruguay Round) different developing countries have different priorities, and in some cases that the aims are directly opposed. Some groups have emerged which normally work together and present a common position. This paper therefore aims to summarise the interests of different developing country groups in each of the most important negotiating issues at this stage of the negotiations. This is a complex and imperfect exercise, but it provides a snapshot of the current constraints to the completion of a round which would need to be overcome in order to meet the interests of the various developing country groups.

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