Implications for Developing Countries
On 12 October 2002 a
seminar was delivered by Mr N. El Amin with the participation of two
eminent discussants: Mr G. Habash, Deputy Minister of Economy and
Foreign Trade, and Mr M. Tawfik Summak, economist.
Mr El Amin presented a
historical outline of multilateral agreements and negotiations on
agricultural trade, including the basic principles of the GATT, the
implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreement, the establishment of the
WTO and the recent Doha Ministerial Conference of November 2001. He
indicated that effective involvement of Developing Countries (DCs) in
this process is constrained by the lacking scientific capability to
innovate and the inadequate institutional setting and managerial
expertise. These weaknesses reduce DCs’ ability to compete in a trade
environment where protection through tariffs is increasingly replaced
by non tariff restrictions such as those deriving from Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary measures and Technical Barriers to Trade.
focused on the case of Syria and underlined the potential gains from
trade deriving from the enhanced international integration brought about
by WTO membership. To this effect, they urged the necessity of building
a stronger and flexible national capacity for agricultural policy
formulation as a basic tool for Syrian negotiations.