South Africas Position for the 8th Ministerial Conference
South Africas Position for the 8th Ministerial Conference of the WTO Presented to Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry By Xavier Carim, DDG International Trade and Economic Development Division, the dti 25 November 2011 Policy Context
SA views multilateralism as the necessary intergovernmental response to manage globalisation and interdependence of national economies. SA advocates for multilateral global governance institutions to fully accommodate developing countries voice and development interests. We have sought to advance these objectives in the WTO. SA engaged Doha Round on agreed mandate to place the needs and interests of developing countries at its centre. 2
WTO Doha Round Repeated attempts to erode the developmental mandate. In agriculture, developed countries offered moderate reductions in distortive subsidies that undermine the development in developing countries, including Africa. Developing countries confronted excessive demands to open their markets for industrial products and services. Harsh for SA: Gain little and would make the deepest industrial tariff cuts of all, undermining industrial/employment objectives. While making increased demands, US unable to make offers. Doha Round has stalled unclear when it can be re-started. Now challenge is to retain the Doha development mandate
3 8th Ministerial Conference MC8 is not a negotiating session for Doha Round but discussion will likely be on how to re-start negotiations and on what basis. New approaches to advance negotiations amongst a limited number of Members (so-called plurilateral approaches); New issues for negotiation as proposed by developed countries, including energy, food security, competition and investment;
Debate on continued relevance of Doha development mandate in light of the new role of emerging markets. 4 8th Ministerial Conference Decisions to be taken: WTO activities; Standard decisions to extend waivers for e-commerce and TRIPS non-violation complaints; Possible accession by Russia; Updated Government Procurement Agreement
(plurilateral). 5 South African Position SA remains committed to concluding Doha Round on the developmental mandate agreed in 2001. Development mandate remains relevant ten years on, especially reforming trade rules for Agriculture (litmus test). SA is committed to the principles of multilateralism, transparency and inclusiveness. Proposals for plurilateral negotiations undermine these
principles and will further marginalise developing countries. 6 South African Position New approaches aim to extract greater access into the markets of emerging developing countries. Proposals to introduce new issues in WTO are premature given the unfinished business of the Doha Round. LDC Package for poorest and most vulnerable Members, which would lend legitimacy/credibility to MTS
7 Preparations for 8th Ministerial Conference Consultations in NEDLAC TESELICO. National Consultative Conference 28 November 2011, Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg. SA Delegation to MC8 to include Members of Parliament and Organised Business and Organised Labour. IBSA and BIC meetings in Geneva ahead of MC8. 8
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