Barbados Among Countries Submitting Paper to WTO

Original Publication Date: 
24 February, 2005

Barbados is among 16 countries that have submitted a joint paper to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with suggestions for the implementation of the special dispensation for small economies laid out in the Doha declaration.

A new round of extended negotiations at the WTO was launched as a result of the Doha ministerial declaration. The document stated that the members should frame responses to trade-related issues identified for the fuller integration of small, vulnerable economies into the multilateral trading system.

According to The Financial Express, the paper was co-sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The paper suggested that the work of the Committee on Trade Development should be tackled in three stages, taking into account the work that it has already undertaken. One of the proposals called for specific characteristics to identify small and vulnerable economies, to be considered first. Second, should be the identification of trade- related problems, which could be linked to these characteristics.

Finally, effective systematic responses to the trade problems should be designed.

A list of specific characteristics and problems faced by small economies was also included in the paper. The definition of small economies should consider physical isolation, geographic dispersal and distance from main markets. Also noted was that many small economies are small island or landlocked developing countries. Other indicators of small economies would be insignificant participation in multilateral trading and a minimal share of world trade.