Singapore issues

The "Singapore issues" refers to four working groups set up during the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1996 in Singapore. These groups are tasked with these issues: transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation (customs issues), trade and investment, and trade and competition. These issues were pushed at successive Ministerials by the European Union, Japan and Korea, and opposed by most developing countries. The United States was lukewarm about the inclusion of these issues, indicating that it could accept some or all of them at various times, but preferring to focus on market access.[1][2] Disagreements between largely developed and developing economies prevented a resolution in these issues, despite repeated attempts to revisit them, notably during the 2003 Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico, whereby no progress was made.[2]

Since, some progress has been achieved in the area of trade facilitation. In July 2004, WTO Members formally agreed to launch negotiations. Under the mandate of the so-called "July package", Members are directed to clarify and improve GATT Article V (Freedom of Transit), Article VIII (Fees and Formalities connected with Importation and Exportation), and Article X (Publication and Administration of Trade Regulations). The negotiations also aim to enhance technical assistance and capacity building in this area and to improve effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.

To date, Members have submitted a great number of proposals under the mandate which provide the basis for the ongoing negotiations. The negotiations should be completed under the overall Doha Development Agenda timeline.

References

  1. ^ Fergusson, Ian F. (2008-01-18). "World Trade Organization Negotiations: The Doha Development Agenda" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  2. ^ a b "Tequila sunset in Cancún". The Economist. 2003-09-17. Retrieved 2008-08-03. This article is available to subscribers only.

External links

Appellate Body

The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTOAB) is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought on by WTO members. The WTOAB can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of a panel, and Appellate Body Reports, once adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), must be accepted by the parties to the dispute. The WTOAB has its seat in Geneva, Switzerland. It has been termed by at least one journalist as "effectively the supreme court of world trade".

Director-General of the World Trade Organization

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization is responsible for supervising the administrative functions of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Because World Trade Organizations' decisions are made by member states (through either a Ministerial Conference or through the General Council), the Director-General has little power over matters of policy - the role is primarily advisory and managerial. The Director-General supervises the WTO secretariat of about 700 staff and is appointed by WTO members for a term of four years.The current Director-General is Roberto Azevêdo of Brazil, since 1 September 2013.Before the creation of the WTO, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade had a series of Directors-General. Peter Sutherland was the last DG of GATT and the first of the WTO.

Dispute Settlement Body

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) makes decisions on trade disputes between governments that are adjudicated by the Organization. Its decisions generally match those of the Dispute Panel.

Doha Development Round

The Doha Development Round or Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is the trade-negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which commenced in November 2001 under then director-general Mike Moore. Its objective was to lower trade barriers around the world, and thus facilitate increased global trade.

The Doha Round began with a ministerial-level meeting in Doha, Qatar in 2001. The aim was to put less developed countries' priorities at heart. The needs of the developing countries were the core reasons for the meeting. The major factors discussed include trade facilitation, services, rules of origin and dispute settlement. Special and differential treatment for the developing countries were also discussed as a major concern. Subsequent ministerial meetings took place in Cancún, Mexico (2003), and Hong Kong (2005). Related negotiations took place in Paris, France (2005), Potsdam, Germany (2007), and Geneva, Switzerland (2004, 2006, 2008);

Progress in negotiations stalled after the breakdown of the July 2008 negotiations. The most significant differences are between developed nations led by the European Union (EU), the United States (US), Canada, and Japan and the major developing countries led and represented mainly by India, Brazil, China, and South Africa. There is also considerable contention against and between the EU and the US over their maintenance of agricultural subsidies—seen to operate effectively as trade barriers.Since the breakdown of negotiations in 2008, there have been repeated attempts to revive the talks, so far without success. Intense negotiations, mostly between the US, China, and India, were held at the end of 2008 seeking agreement on negotiation modalities, an impasse which was not resolved. In April 2011, then director-general Pascal Lamy "asked members to think hard about 'the consequences of throwing away ten years of solid multilateral work'." A report to the WTO General Council by Lamy in May 2012 advocated "small steps, gradually moving forward the parts of the Doha Round which were mature, and re-thinking those where greater differences remained." Adoption of the Bali Ministerial Declaration on 7 December 2013 for the first time successfully addressed bureaucratic barriers to commerce—a small part of the Doha Round agenda. However, as of January 2014, the future of the Doha Round remains uncertain.

G90

The G90, otherwise known as the Group of 90, is an alliance between the poorest and smallest developing countries, many of whom are part of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The G90 emerged as a strong grouping at the WTO’s Ministerial conference at Cancun in September 2003, taking common positions representing the largest number of countries, with 64 of the 90 countries in the G90 being members of the WTO. It is the largest trading body in the WTO, and it was formed as an umbrella body including the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP), the African Union, and the group of Least Developed Countries (LDC).

List of Latin American and Caribbean countries by GDP (nominal)

This is a list of Latin American and Caribbean countries by gross domestic product (nominal) in USD according to the International Monetary Fund's estimates in the October 2018 World Economic Outlook database.

Cuba is not included in the list due to lack of economic data. Puerto Rico is not listed since it is a U.S. territory.

List of Latin American and Caribbean countries by GDP growth

This is a list of estimates of the real gross domestic product growth rate (not rebased GDP) in Latin American and Caribbean states for the latest years recorded in the CIA World Factbook. States are not included if their latest growth estimate was for a year prior to 2014. The list contains some non-sovereign territories.

Ministerial Conference

The Ministerial Conference is the top decision making body of the World Trade Organization (WTO). There have been eleven ministerial conferences from 1996 to 2017, usually every two years.

Peace Clause

Trade negotiators generally refer to Article 13 of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Agriculture as the Peace Clause. Article 13 holds that domestic support measures and export subsidies of a WTO Member that are legal under the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture cannot be challenged by other WTO Members on grounds of being illegal under the provisions of another WTO agreement.

The Peace Clause has expired on January 1, 2004. It is now possible, therefore, for developing countries and nations favoring free trade in agricultural goods, such as the Cairns Group, to use the WTO dispute settlement mechanism in order to challenge, in particular, U.S. and EU export subsidies on agricultural products.

Another temporary peace clause was made at the WTO Bali conference in December 2013. It stipulated that no country would be legally barred from food security programs for its own people even if the subsidy breached the limits specified in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.

Roberto Azevêdo

Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁoˈbɛʁtu kaʁˈvaʎu dʒi azeˈvedu]; born 3 October 1957) is a Brazilian career diplomat and the current Director-General of the World Trade Organization. Azevêdo was elected to succeed Pascal Lamy as Director-General of the World Trade Organization in May 2013. He assumed office on 1 September 2013. He is paid a salary of 300,000 Swiss francs and an allowance of 200,000.

Singapore dollar

The Singapore dollar (sign: S$; code: SGD) is the official currency of Singapore. It is divided into 100 cents. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or S$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The Monetary Authority of Singapore issues the banknotes and coins of the Singapore dollar.

As of 2016, the Singapore dollar is the twelfth-most traded currency in the world by value. Apart from its use in Singapore, the Singapore dollar is also accepted as customary tender in Brunei according to the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam). Likewise, the Brunei dollar is also customarily accepted in Singapore.

Timeline of the World Trade Organization

This is a timeline of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1996

The World Trade Organization's Ministerial Conference of 1996 was held in Singapore on December 9 - December 13, 1996. The inaugural meeting for the organisation since its formation. The event was hosted by the government of Singapore at the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Suntec City.

The conference established four permanent working groups: transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation (customs issues), trade and investment, and trade and competition. These groups collectively are called the Singapore issues.

World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1998

The Second Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization was held in Geneva, Switzerland between 18 and 20 May 1998.

World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2009

The WTO General Council, on 26 May 2009, agreed to hold a seventh WTO ministerial conference session in Geneva from 30 November - 3 December 2009. A statement by chairman Amb. Mario Matus acknowledged that the prime purpose was to remedy a breach of protocol requiring two-yearly "regular" meetings, which had lapsed with the Doha Round failure in 2005, and that the "scaled-down" meeting would not be a negotiating session, but "emphasis will be on transparency and open discussion rather than on small group processes and informal negotiating structures". The general theme for discussion is "The WTO, the Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment".

World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2011

The WTO General Council held an eighth WTO ministerial conference session in Geneva from 15–3 December 2011.

Membership agreement where made for Russia, Samoa, and Montenegro, dependent on the ratification of those countries. The consent of Russia`s membership was seen as important, since the country had been the largest major economy outside the organization since the accession of China in 2001.

World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2013

The Ninth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference was held in Bali, Indonesia from 3 to 7 December 2013. The conference was chaired by the Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan.In this conference, 159 members of World Trade Organization agreed to the Bali Package which aims to ease barriers to international trade.Yemen's agreement was also registered, dependent on the country's membership ratification.

World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2015

The Tenth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 19 December 2015. The conference was chaired by the Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohamed.Afghanistan and Liberia acceded to the WTO, bringing the total membership of the organization to 164, with the total number of least-developed countries who have joined since 1995 rising to nine.

World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2017

The 11th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 11 to 13 December 2017. It was chaired by Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina. The Conference ended with a number of ministerial decisions, including on fisheries subsidies and e-commerce duties, and a commitment to continue negotiations in all areas. The conference also led to the formation of working party to enable faster induction of South Sudan in the WTO.

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