THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP ON THE DOHA AGENDA
WORKING GROUP ON THE DOHA AGENDA (IWOGDA) PROGRAMME
Doha Ministerial Declaration, also dubbed the Doha Development Agenda,
recognises the need for launching negotiations on both investment and
competition to increase international trade and development.
general understanding on investment as well as competition issues is not very
high among civil society. The problem is particularly rampant in developing
countries where even the policy-makers and the trade negotiators are not very
aware of the issues.
the current lack of enthusiasm amongst developing countries, it is vital to lay
the foundation for any future ‘assenting spree’. Thus,
there is an urgent need to promote understanding on these issues in a balanced
manner through research and dialogue.
light of the need to inform on the competition and investment issues, CUTS
Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS-CITEE) is
undertaking a programme involving leading international experts, practitioners
and other stakeholders in the areas of competition and investment policy at the
number of short Issues Papers on various aspects and elements of the potential
competition and investment agreements are being prepared for debate and
discussion by a larger group of individuals.
main aims of the project are to:
a knowledge base and understanding in the principles, provisions, modalities
and implications of potential agreements on competition and investment.
countries, especially developing ones, to evolve appropriate negotiating
positions on potential competition and investment agreements at the WTO.
the capacity of negotiators and other stakeholders on competition and
WTO Working Groups with the views of experts, practitioners and other
stakeholders on the issues of competition and investment.
developed countries in general, and the protagonists of competition and
investment agreements in particular, on the concerns and feelings of
countries with doubts about the utility of multilateral agreements on
investment and competition to present well argued fears, rather than relying
upon rhetoric and hearsay.
To achieve the above objectives it is necessary to take a broad view without prejudging the outcomes. Hence, the objective is not to reach a consensus on the issues, but rather to promote understanding that will help negotiators and other stakeholders address and voice their concerns with sound argumentation instead of rhetoric.
programme identifies possible subjects for Issue Papers to clarify the issues
most of which have been identified in the Doha Declaration. Others could
be equally relevant. The issues are:
1. Scope and definition
Core principles; transparency, non-discrimination and procedural fairness
Nature of commitments - exceptions and exemptions, use of a GATS-style
positive list approach
Development provisions: special development needs of LDCs and SICs,
technical assistance and capacity building, balance of payments safeguards,
trade and financial needs of developing countries; Special and Differential
National policy space: ways of taking into account the development policies
and objectives of host governments including right to regulate in the public
interest, ways of balancing the interests of host countries with home countries
Consultation and dispute settlement between Members and/or between
Members and non-state actors
Relation with other WTO provisions, existing bilateral and regional arrangements
Scope and Definition
Core principles: transparency, non-discrimination and procedural fairness
Cross-border issues: export cartels, M&As (mergers &
acquisitions) and provisions on hard-core cartels
Cooperation between agencies, voluntary, positive comity
Special and Differential Treatment: needs of developing and least developed
countries, need for appropriate flexibility, exceptions and exemptions
Public Interest, window for exceptions and exemptions
Technical assistance and capacity-building commitments, support for
progressive reinforcement of competition institutions in developing countries
Issues may overlap in some instances, and in other cases, they may be mutually
intertwined. To this end, the discussions in the web-based group will be helpful
in further elaborating and deepening understanding as well as aiding the
rapporteurs in their synthesis. Active participation in the discussions from all
participants is strongly encouraged.
proposed work programme is as follows;
The core experts develop draft papers, keeping regular contact
Comments of the larger group of experts are to be incorporated into the
The resulting draft papers will be discussed at an interactive
brainstorming meeting in Geneva where the trade
community can actively engage.
The final papers will be published in a single volume to be widely
distributed to a targeted audience.
- 9th November
2002, Jaipur, India
is carrying out a project entitled ‘International Working Group on Doha
Agenda’ (IWOGDA) that deals with competition and investment issues at
the WTO. The project aims at building capacity of negotiators of the South
on the issues relating to investment and competition that might become a
part of the WTO negotiating process. We have received the Issue papers
from the writers, which have been commented upon by the commentators.
Brainstorming Meeting on IWOGDA was held on 8-9 November 2002 at
Hotel Trident in Jaipur, India. The meeting was attended by the Issue
writers and a close group of peer reviewers. The brainstorming would help
the writers to refine their papers which will be presented in the final
meeting scheduled in February 2003.
discussions of the brainstorming meeting was captured in a synthesis
report to be circulated amongst the stakeholders.
Click here for Agenda
Press Release Proceedings
Press Release Proceedings
Final Meeting of IWOGDA, 17th - 18th Feb. 03, Geneva
Click here for Press Release
Centre For International Trade, Economics
& Environment (CITEE)
D–218, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park,
Jaipur 302 016, India,
D-217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302 016, India
Ph: 91.141.2282821, Fax: 91.141.2282485