CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
OF THE HIGH-LEVEL FORUM
ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT
(Doha, Qatar, 5-6 December 2004)
Outcome of the Workshop on Trade
The following conclusions and recommendations were highlighted:
Trade policy is a key instrument available to developing countries
in promoting development. It must be used strategically in the context
of liberalization in the South-South trade and at the multilateral
level. South-South consultations and exchanges of experiences on
these issues should be reinforced. This could be one element of contributing
to the implementation of the MDGs. In this context, the development
issue should be placed on the top of the UN agenda.
Development of necessary capacities to negotiate trade
agreements, to comply with and implement them, and to take advantage
of them through increased production, competitiveness and exports
in manufactures, commodities and services. Central to trade negotiations
is the need to promote a development-friendly system of rules and
opportunities, especially at the multilateral level in the current
Doha round of negotiations under the WTO and factor in the cost of
implementation.Equally important is the need for sustained solidarity
and partnerships, including on accession to the WTO, which need to
be made more equitable and just, reflecting the development status
of developing countries and without political conditionalities. Any
unilateral coercive measures by developed countries that militate
against the trade and development interests of developing countries
should be opposed by developing countries. Appropriate consultative
South-South mechanisms to foster cooperation on these issues need
to be put in place.
- Addressing process related issues in trade negotiations,
especially at the multilateral level, to bring about greater transparency
and inclusiveness in decision-making, is also important. This has
and continues to be a collective agenda of the South, in seeking
better access and better terms of engagement.
- Essential aspects
of capacity building include multi-stakeholder consultations at the
national level. It also includes investment into human development,
as a means of promoting trade and development, as well as peace and stability.
trade in commodities, including in strategic resources, is poised for
a change. Transforming the commodity problematique into an engine for
development will need enhanced market access and entry conditions,
improved cooperation and capacities of national enterprises, regional
cooperation, and trade financing. An Action Group on South-South Commodities’ trade
in the context of the International Task Force on Commodities
could be created.
- Strengthening regional trade and integration agreements of
the South requires proper pacing and sequencing of internal and external
liberalization. Key issue for developing countries involved in North-South
arrangements is cooperation in ensuring a development interface between
these arrangements and the multilateral trading system. A network
of integration agreements can be constituted to foster exchanges of
experiences and information among different groups and regions. Also,
initiatives such as the Asia-Africa Sub-regional Organization (AASROC)
could serve as examples of South-South cooperation.
- Inter-regional trade
has an important potential that remains to be fully realized. The
scope to do so has improved substantially. The Global System of Trade
Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP) is a key instrument that
can bring new dynamism to such trade and thus developing countries
need to actively participate in the third round of negotiations that
has been launched so as to make a significant impact on South-South
- Exploiting complementarities in South-South services trade
can offer important trade and investment opportunities. Actions need
to be taken to build up South-South trade in services through closer
cooperation at the bilateral, regional and interregional levels in
services sectors with high growth potential, including on the movement
of natural persons.
- Trade infrastructure and trade facilitating measures
are necessary for export competitiveness and for reducing transaction
costs on trade of developing countries. There is need to invest into
improving infrastructure facilities and network among developing countries,
to reduce the cost of doing business, and to enhance trade facilitating
- Capacity building is important in developing and strengthening
institutions that can help countries meet international technical
standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures for manufactures
and agricultural products. Developing mutual recognition agreements
on standards is also needed to facilitate trade. Support should be
provided to the Consultative Task Force on Environmental Requirements
and Market Access for Developing Countries.
- The Network of export-import
banks of the South just launched at UNCTAD XI to provide financing
needs of South-South trade should be supported and consolidated.
countries should seek representation at the Bank of International Settlements
through the creation of an "Emerging Markets Committee" so
their interests are considered and take into account in the setting
of international banking and financial standards.
- The debt trap in which many
developing countries are caught has obliged them to use limited resources
to finance debt re-payments and this, in turn, prevents them from
financing trade, production, infrastructure and capacity building activities
for development. The situation has been aggravated by the failure
of OCED countries to meet the target set of extending 0.7 per cent
of their GDP as development assistance. The international community
should urgently meet this commitment, make available needed financial
resources for development, and promote durable solutions to addressing
the external indebtedness of developing countries including debt cancellation.
Work on trade, debt and finance in the WTO launched at Doha should
also be expedited.
- Technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC)
should be enhanced through tripartite mechanism involving donor countries
or regional financial institutions, in promoting South-South cooperation.
North remains an important partner for developing countries. It needs
to adopt policies and measures to facilitate South-South trade
and trade generally of developing countries. These include improving
market access conditions, removing market entry barriers, avoiding
trading distorting practices such as in agriculture, and providing
additional trade and development assistance.
- The G77 is an important
forum for follow-up on South-South cooperation. It must continue
to consolidate its solidarity and cohesiveness in trade and trade negotiations.
It should consider conducting an annual review of practical initiatives
in promoting South-South trade to take stock of progress and provide
continued follow-up to decisions taken. UNCTAD is a key partner of
the G77. It should increase support for the G77 in promoting South-South
trade on a more sustained basis, including in conducting annual reviews
on follow-up to recommendations adopted. Other relevant international
organizations such as UNDP could also contribute in supporting
economic cooperation among developing countries. The important contribution
of IFAD in the area of rural and agricultural development as well
as its efforts to enhance small holder farmers to have better access
to markets was recognized. Support should also be provided to the South
Centre that is in a position to make valuable contribution to the
capacity building of developing countries in trade negotiations.
Outcome of the Workshop on Investment
The following conclusions and recommendations were highlighted:
- The need for better understanding of the scale, potential and opportunities
for outward investment from developing countries, in particular
- Increasing opportunities for South-South international
investment policy setting, more specifically through bilateral and regional
agreements, and for exchange of views and the sharing of experiences, including
from existing regional investment agreements in the South, and in areas
such as corporate developmental responsibility.
- Explore ways in which the
risks and constraints associated with outward investment among developing
countries, in particular investment flows to the least developed countries,
from other developing countries can be mitigated.
- Enhancing capacity-building
activities through regional training workshops on best practices in investment
policy framework and investment promotion and targeting and by strengthening
investment promotion agencies. In this respect, LDCs require special attention.
- Conduct investment policy analyses with a view to identifying and developing
policy options and regulatory framework appropriate to attracting
FDI and benefiting from it, especially in the South-South context.
importance of not only attracting but also benefiting from FDI, including
through the development of linkages between foreign affiliates and domestic
firms with the view to strengthening domestic enterprise sector.
- The development
of common denominators in international investment rule making that are development-friendly
and that could be as models for bilateral and regional investment negotiations.
- The need to improve on the capacity to collect and analyze statistics
on investment flows.
- Issues related to investment that require special attention
include corporate governance, accounting standards, the development of
capital markets and the implications of and the active involvement of developing
countries in Basel II.
- Promoting transfer of technology among developing countries
as well as strengthening coordination among them in the area of transfer
of technology and intellectual property rights within the context of the
WTO and WIPO agreements. In this context, the Forum support the role being
played by some Southern institutions dealing with science and technology,
specially the Third World Academy of Sciences ( Trieste)
- The Forum highlighted the importance of UNDP initiative to establish
a regional centre on e-Government and e-Governance in Qatar that
will serve as a knowledge centre.
- The Forum stressed the importance of the
role of the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation as the focal point
within the UN system for South-South Cooperation and requested the Unit to
take steps to develop general guidelines on intra-South private sector collaboration,
and facilitate the establishment of economically viable public-private
partnership and market-driven mechanisms to accelerate exchange of business
collaboration, joint venture and technology exchange opportunities among
the developing countries. In this context, it requests the Special Unit to
undertake the publishing of the first edition of the report on South-South
Cooperation on the occasion of the Second South Summit as decided by the
first South Summit in Havana.
- The Forum acknowledges the increasing emphasis
placed by UNDP in the implementation of the MDGs, especially on poverty
eradication and development issues.
- The Forum acknowledges the importance
of IFAD in the area of rural and agricultural development as well as its
efforts to enhance small holders agriculture and farmers access to markets.
Forum stresses the importance of the South-South project on Intellectual
Property Rights and Access to HIV/AIDS and malaria Drugs.
- The Forum acknowledges
the valuable contribution made by UN relevant institutions through the
research and policy analysis on key development issues, including trade and
- The Forum, in the light of the substantive preparations for
the Second South Summit, invited the troika of the Group of 77 to consider
the best modalities for the implementation and follow up of the