Despite recurring rounds of trade liberalization under GATT/WTO auspices, complemented by unilateral reforms, many developing countries have not been able to integrate into the world economy. This paper argues that, from the perspective of the poorest countries, a multi-pronged strategy is required to strengthen the global trading system and that much of the agenda must be addressed outside the WTO. The most important contribution the WTO can make from a development perspective is to improve market access conditions – for goods and services – and ensure that trade rules are useful to developing countries. Enhancing trade capacity requires concerted action outside the WTO (‘aid for trade’) as well as unilateral actions by both industrialized and developing countries to reduce anti-trade biases.
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