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Developing countries


Trade and investment offer great opportunities for fostering economic growth, which can be used by developing countries for their sustainable development and poverty reduction programmes.
The world's poorest countries have not always been able to benefit fully from the trade opportunities offered by the multilateral trading system. WTO Members have therefore agreed to put the issue of development at the heart of the next round of WTO negotiations, by launching the Doha Development Agenda. The DDA aims at establishing rules that help foster development, and increase developing countries' opportunities to take advantage from further trade liberalisation. For this reason development is the one single theme that runs through all elements of the DDA Work Programme.
The market access negotiations must include products of particular interest to developing countries, to allow them to boost their export of these products. Moreover, increased access to the markets of other developing countries for developing country exporters is another important objective of the negotiations, since South-South trade has great potential.
The EU has led the way by eliminating all duties and quotas for all products originating from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), under the Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative.
The basic EU priorities in the DoHa round are as follows:
a. In market access for industrial products sector, the EU wants to create significant new trade flows by cutting tariffs in both developed countries and the growing emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India.
b. For the agriculture sector the EU is committed to an agreement that reforms farm subsidy programs throughout the rich world in line with the EU’s wide-ranging 2003 reform of Common Agricultural Policy.
c. In market access negotiations for the services trade, DoHa should bring considerable and real market opportunities for business as well as benefits to consumers world-wide. However, the EU does not seek general deregulation or privatisation of sectors where principles of public interest are at stake, and the EU is also committed to defending the right of WTO members to promote cultural diversity.
d. The EU wants the DoHa Round to agree a package of development measures including: a special agreement to address trade distortions caused by subsidies to cotton farmers in developed countries; the extension of unlimited markets access to all Least Developed Countries by as many countries as possible; a new global package of ‘aid for trade’ assistance to help the poorest build the capacity to trade; special measures to help the poorest countries implement any DoHa Agreement effectively and without long-term harm to their economies.
e. The EU wants the DoHa Round to agree a new set of rules to govern the use of trade defence instruments so that they are not abused, and a complete update of the WTO’s rulebook for trade facilitation, the standard practice for customs and other border related procedures world wide – a potential source of huge savings for traders, especially in developing countries. The EU also wants to use the DoHa Round to improve the protection of geographical indications – the special legal identity given to products like Parma Ham and Roquefort cheese that are closely linked to a particular place and tradition of production.

Guiding Question

Does the option affect developing, least developed and middle income countries?

Relevant Policies

The integration of developing countries in the world economy and the multilateral trading system is part of the EU trade strategy, and a priority objective of its development policy.


DG Trade:

Further Sources of Data

Please link to other sources of data, e.g. important reports, annual reports etc.  

Further Sources of Information

European Commission: Trade
Eruopean Commission: DG EuropeAid Development and Cooperation
United Nations Development Programme

Eurostat Indicators

The following Eurostat Sustainable Development Indicators (Global Partnership) are relevant to address the key question:
- ODA as share of Gross National Income
- FDI in developing countries, by income group
- Official Development Assistance, by income group
- Bilateral ODA by category
- Untied ODA
- EU imports from developing countries by group of products
- EU imports from developing countries by income group
- EU imports from least-developed countries by group of products
- Total EU financing for developing countries, by type
- Aggregated measurement of support for agriculture

Other Official Indicators

Please insert indicators relevant to the question, choose indicators provided e.g. by international organizations like the OECD, IEA, ILO or academic institutes.

Publications and applications

Content for this term

Title Type Updated date
Developing Countries Impact Area 2013-05-12 22:13
Reidsma, Pytrik Expert 2014-04-08 17:04