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WTO ACCESSION:


LESSONS FROM EXPERIENCE.

Simon J. Evenett

Carlos A. Primo Braga1

I. INTRODUCTION.

Since its creation in 1995, twenty new Members have acceded to the World Trade Organization (WTO). On 13  October 2004, Cambodia became the WTO’s 148th member, almost 10 years after it had first applied and just over a year after its membership package was approved at the Cancún Ministerial Conference. Cambodia is the second least-developed country (LDC) to join the WTO since its creation in 1994,through the full working party negotiation process and followingeding Nepal’s accession on 23 April 2004.


Countries applying for WTO membership have to face a complex and, in most cases, long process. Some applications date back to the late 1980s (e.g., Algeria) or early 1990s (e.g., Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Saudi Arabia). Applicants often need to implement substantive reforms to align their domestic institutions and policies with WTO disciplines. Most developing countries lack the capacity to engage effectively in these negotiations due to the absence of trained personnel, not to mention institutional and financial constraints. It is worth noting that currently roughly one-third of the 269 governments in the process of accession represent LDCs (see Aannex I for a list of current applicants)..
As illustrated by the experiences of China, and more recently, Cambodia, WTO aAccession can be an effective lever to promote trade liberalization and substantive regulatory reform. Yet, there is a generalized perception that the process is too cumbersome and onerous for acceding countries. Notwithstanding, these concerns the demand for WTO accession remains strong and the goal of WTO “universalization” is often referred to by most Member countries as a worthwhile objective.

In this note, we discuss the review lessons from experience of developing countries with the WTO accession process and discuss the main challenges faced by developing countries in complying with this demanding process. The note also discusses the potential benefits of WTO accession from theoretical and empirical perspectives.identifyhighlight the implications for policymakers in applicant countries and for in existing WTO members.

II. . THE ACCESSION PROCESSWHY DO NATIONS JOIN THE WTO?
Policymakers from countries seeking to join the WTO give a range of economic and political reasons for doing so. For some, the rationale is to further integrate their country into the world economy. Here often the hope is that the bettermore predictable access to foreign markets, which WTO membership can bring, will results in higher exports. Another economic rationale is to attract more foreign direct investments and, more generally, to use WTO membership as a seal of approval for recognized by the international business community. It should be recognizedis also the case, however, that many nations join the WTO for political reasons. Transition economies, for example, often see WTO membership as a means to signal their commitment to joining the international community of nationsmarket-based economies. In short, Smany ome see WTO accession as facilitating both political as well asand economic reform processes within their countries.
There is some overlap between these stated rationales and the potential benefits of WTO accession identified in economic research, in particular as they related to bolstering exports and foreign direct investment inflows.2 Economists would also point to the benefits that flow from better foreign access to the acceding nation’s markets, specifically in terms of lower prices for and a greater variety of imports. By binding national tariffs, committing to eliminate quotas on imports, and the reforming other state measures, the credibility of an acceding nation’s policies can be enhanced and the private sector faces less uncertainty. In principle, then, WTO accession can improve important components of the national business environment which, in turn, can hasve sizeable domestic payoffs.
III. THE REALITY OF THE WTO ACCESSION PROCESS.

The experience of 20 countries that have joined the WTO since 1995, plus that of the 269 countries that are currently seeking to join, form the basis of much of what is known about the WTO accession process. Not every aspect of WTO accession is publicly documented, in particular little is known about the numerous bilateral negotiations between an applicant and existing WTO members. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, a certain amount of folklore has arisen concerning the WTO accession process. Recently, studies have been able to shed light on the validity of some of that folklore and the main findings in this regard are described below.3 However, readers, and in particular stakeholders in applicant countries, should bear in mind that important steps in the WTO accession process remain secretconfidential.

The procedures that an applicant must follow in order to become a WTO member are now well established. At least, Ttwenty distinct steps can be readily identified, see appendix 1.4 The most important— -- and often most time-consuming -- —steps are the creation of a Working Party to consider the application for WTO membership5, the drafting of a Memorandum on the applicant’s foreign exchangetrade regime, the applicant satisfactorily answering the questions of existing WTO members about this Memorandum, the applicant successfully concluding bilateral negotiations with each of the Working Party members, and the adoption of the Protocol of Accession by the Working Party and then by the WTO’s General Council or Ministerial Conference.
Throughout this process the onus is on the applicant to satisfy the demands of existing WTO members. This apparently one-sided procedure has given rise to the following folkloreperceptions about the WTO accession process:


  • The WTO accession process is very costly and complex.

  • The WTO accession process is taking longer and longer to complete.

  • The price of joining the WTO now includes commitments that go well beyond the Uruguay Round agreements.

  • The price of joining the WTO is steadily rising.

  • The WTO accession process takes little account of the specific circumstances of applicant countries or their needs for special and differential treatment.

The real underlying reason for the emergence of this folklorese perceptions is that the terms, rather than the procedures, of WTO accession are not well legally defined in legal terms. Paradoxically for a supposedly rules-based organization, the WTO has no clear rules for the “price” of membership!. Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement, which is the legal instrument covering the WTO accession process, merely states that new members may join the WTO “on terms to be agreed.” This sparse guidance leaves the door wide opening fromto encompass both an expedited hassle-free accession process andto a drawn-out, decade-long, and burdensome accession experience. Sadly tThe currentprevailing “folklore” points to the latter being closer to the mark. Indeed, as far as the time taken to complete the WTO accession process is concerned, Ffigure 1 suggests that it has steadily grown over time. Figure 1 plots in sequential order the length of time taken to complete the first 20 accessions – s (see Annex 2 for the identification of the countries in question.) Even without the accession of China (the 15th nation to join the WTO in 1995), the trend is clearly upwards; recent acceding countries have taken approximately a decade to negotiate their WTO entry.


Turning to the price of accession, it is important to appreciate that acceding countries make two broad types of commitments:; those relating directly to market access and other commitments (known as “specific” commitments). Acceding countries may benefit from transition periods or exceptions to existing WTO rules, but these are rarely granted by existing WTO members.


With respect to the market access commitments, in the areas of agricultural and non-agricultural (typically manufacturing) products there is clear evidence that the price of accession –-- expressed in terms of the depth of market access concessions made by acceding countries -- is growing over time. (No comparable and sufficiently detailed data is available for service sector commitments.) Separating out the accession of Differentiating between the least developed countries (who happened to be the last two countries to join the WTO) and are so are indicated differently in the figures that follow) from and the other acceding developing countries (DCs), a clear pattern emerges in fFigures 2 and 3.6 For both agricultural and non-agricultural goods the average tariff binding that acceding countries were allowed is falling over time— and is now at levels well below those agreed by developing countries in the Uruguay Round.7. Here the folklore is correct:In short, from a mercantilistic perspective, the relative price of WTO accession is high (especially when compared totaking what peer nations committed to in the Uruguay Round as the comparator8) and as the comparator) and growing over time.


The picture that emerges concerning services commitments under the GATS also tells a similar story. Taking the number of services sub-sectors (among the 160 sub-sectors identified in the WTO’s classification list) committed by countries as a proxy for the “price” to be a WTO Member, one observes that LDCs that were founding members of the WTO committed on average 20 sub-sectors. The averages for founding Members in the developing and developed categories, in turn, were respectively [54]44 and 108. Countries that have acceded since 1995, in turn, have on average committed around 104[106] sub-sectors.8 9 Needless to say, this is a crude measure of the “services-related” price of accession assince this figurestatistic does not capture the qualitydepth (e.g., the scheduling of explicit limitations) or the scopebreadth (e.g., the modes of delivery covered) of the commitment. Still, it is illustrative that countries that went through the WTO accession process typically committed a much higher number of sub-sectors than GATT contracting parties at a similar level of development did in the context of the Uruguay Round (1986-94) negotiations.9
Turning to the specific (or non-market access) commitments that countries have committed toadopted when joining the WTO, the picture is more mixed. With the exceptions of China and Taiwan, (China), accession countries signed around 20 such specific commitments. These commitments typically concern a wide range of state measures, some of which are not obviously trade-related. Bulgaria, for example, made commitments with respect to domestic price controls, the privatization of state-owned enterprises, and excise taxes on alcohol, as well as many other traditional trade policy-related measures.

A controversial question is whether these specific commitments go beyond the commitments agreed during the Uruguay Round (i.e.,the so-called WTO + commitments) or involve an accession country agreeing to forgo the rights available to other WTO members (i.e.,the so-called WTO – commitments). (These are known as WTO+ and WTO- commitments, respectively.) Whether an accession commitment goes beyond an existing WTO agreement depends in large part on how the latter is interpreted, and so it should not be surprising that disagreement is rife on the extent of WTO+ commitments. Moreover, some of the latter WTO+ obligations may only involve consultation with, or reporting to, existing WTO members, and thus arebe of limited developmental significance. Others may be more fundamental, such as Jordan’s commitment that if any of its laws or state acts awere subsequently found to contradict international treaties (not just the WTO’s agreements), then the latter would applyhave precedence. WTO- commitments are easier to identify, such as Ecuador’s commitment to eliminate all subsidies before the date of accession and its commitment never to introduce them afterwards. China’s acceptance of product-specific transitional safeguard provisions, which can be more easily triggered than regular WTO safeguards, provides another example. WTO+ and WTO- commitments createontribute furtherto differentiatione between WTO members, and they could be interpreted as makinging “second-class citizens” out of the someaffected accession countriescreating a two-tier multilateral trade system. This systemic concern is in addition to any of the adverse developmental effects that may result from these specific commitments.

In sum, there is clear evidence that the accession process is becoming more demanding in terms of market access commitments. Whether there is a trend increase in WTO+ or WTO- commitments is unclear, but the very fact that existing WTO rules allow for them is also a source of concern.
IV. TOUGH LOVE OR POWER PLAYS?
What is more important than knowing if the price of WTO accession is rising is whether the price is worth paying—paying, that is, in terms of its developmental impact. If it is, then the demands made by existing WTO members of acceding countries canmight be thought of characterized as “tough love.” Otherwise, the WTO accession process may be seen as a one-sided power play whereby current WTO members wring commercial advantage out of some of the poorestweaker economic partners economies on Earth.
When considering the developmental impact of WTO accession, two important points should be borne in mind. The first is that a comprehensive evaluation of WTO accession shwould examine post-accession performance on many metrics, and shwould consider the state measures taken before and after the date of WTO accession. At present, Ffew accession countries have five or so years of post-accession data to begin identifying the effect of WTO accession, so the available evidence here is necessarily limited. Second, and relatedly, most of the country-specific studies on WTO accession relate to China and involve predictions of likely effects of its accession, rather than evaluations of actual impact.

In fact, much of the available evidence concerns the impact of WTO accession on national exports and imports. This evidence is useful for assessing whether accession really does help integrate developing countries into the world trading system. There are two main strands of recent literature analyzing Initially, aaggregate studies of trade flows and the role of the WTO/GATT in influencing them. OnIn a series of papers, of which one extreme, Rose (2003) is a prominent example, Andrew Rose has called into question whether argues that in reality membership ofin the GATT/WTO has not actually increased trade above the levels promoted more trade than what would be expected from the “standard” bilateral “ gravity” determinantsmodels of bilateral trade.10 In contrast, analyzingusing the same data but analyzed in a different way, pointed to a positive impact of WTO accession (Rose 2003), in particular on manufacturing goods trade (Subramanian and Wei (2003). In turn, show find that the same data when analyzed in a different manner is consistent with the proposition that GATT/WTO membership has been associated with a significant increase in imports of industrialized countries, although the same cannot be said for developing country members of these two organizationsy members.

However, these studies lumped all accession countries together and estimated a common effect of WTO accession—and Tthere is little reason, however, to expect that exporters in accession countries respond similarly to the different opportunities created by their nation’s WTO accession, which is an implicit assumption made in the above two analyzses., as implicit in the aggregation of all accession countries adopted in these studies. Recent country-by-country estimates of the impact of WTO accession on imports and exports vary a lot, (Kennett, Evenett, and Gage 2005), probably because national experience varies a lot too.11 For example, after stripping out the effects of non-trade policy determinants of its trade, Ecuador’s manufacturing imports fell after its WTO accession in 1996. This apparently surprisingly finding is sooneasy to understoodand when one is toldnotes that Ecuador substantially raised its applied tariffs across the board in the years after WTO accession, something that was possible in view of the binding overhang of its WTO tariff commitments. Another problem with these aggregate studies is that they do not shed light on the mechanisms by which WTO accession influence national trade flows. For example, did accession bolster sales of traditionallong-standing exportables to existing markets or did it encourage the entry into new markets?

Disaggregrated product-line studies of Ecuador’s and Bulgaria’s exports to the industrialized Quoad countries12 shed some light on whether the incentives created by WTO accession are working or not.12 Kennett, Evenett, and Gage (2005) found that, once other determinants of market entry were controlled for, sales of long-standing exportables to new markets were not helped by WTO accession. In contrast, sales of long-standing products to existing foreign markets were found to rise after WTO accession—suggesting that Bulgarian and Ecuadorian exporters responded positively to the incentives created by WTO accession. Indeed, it has been estimated that just under a fifth of Bulgaria’s recent export growth iwas attributable to its WTO accession.

These modest supply side responses to WTO accession may be due to two potential factors. First, foreign barriers faced by some exporters in countries that joined the WTO may have in fact changed little after accession—in which case the quid pro quo for taking on accession-related binding commitments has broken down. Or, secondly, that exporters were either unaware or unable to take advantage of improved market access abroad. This could be due to a lack of information, to expensive and inefficient infrastructure in the acceding country, or a lack of experience in successfully shipping goods abroad. In short, Wwhether joining the WTO bolsters a nation’s exports depends not only on the changes in market access that are supposed to follow from accession (in terms of greater predictability), but also on the steps taken by the government and firms in the applicant country.
To summarize, when comparing the grand objectives of nations that seek to join the WTO with the available empirical evidence on what happened to countries after they joined the WTO, there is an evident mismatch. This is disturbingmay seem disturbing at first sight, but perhaps is not surprising given how recent WTO accession has evolved is—and it certainly hasn’t stopped plentmany of countries from applying for WTO membership. MoreoverIn addition, matters are not as bad as they seem it is important to keep in mind thatas WTO accession can induces trade reforms that promote transparency and the that strengthening of domestic policies to managecope balance-of-payments crises and the like, which are important additional and there are many independent studies showing the benefits of the latter for developing countries.13 Moreover, oOver the past twelve months more information has come to light as to how nations can successfully make the most of WTO accession, a subject to which we now turn.

V. MAKING THE MOST OF WTO ACCESSION.

Developing countries need not see themselves as merely at the mercy of existing WTO members during the accession process. Concrete steps have been taken by governments in developing countries before, during, and after the WTO accession process so as to push the ratio of costs to benefits in a pro-development direction. Moreover,And many donor agencies and international development institutions offer programs to build capacity and expertise. The overriding goal is to choose the mix national and international initiatives that best meet the applicant’s development objectives. The following remarks, based on developing country experience14, are offered with this goal in mind. 14
As early as possible in the WTO accession process, it is desirable to identify precisely how the signing binding commitments at the WTO can further reform and help attain national priorities. Cambodia, for example, identified textiles, clothing, and tourism as sectors which could benefit from reform and developed negotiating priorities in its WTO accession process accordingly. Identification of goals, analysis of economic options, and formulation of negotiating priorities and fall back positions are what is required here. Binding commitments can influence the behavior of importers, foreign investors, and regulators, and knowing the likely economic and social impact of different legal commitments will help an accession country to determine which legal commitments are priorities for it in the first place. Such reasoning will involve matters far beyond the typical reach of ministries to trade, and ideally the national government should come to a collective view as to what the strategy with respect to WTO accessions are. This subject should therefore not be treated as a technocratic negotiating exercise controlled by a small number of officials in the trade ministry.

Another important step is for applicant countries to form realistic expectations of what the WTO accession process involves. Applicants should expect that this process to take at least five years and often even longer, and in recent cases, almost a decade. Given ministerial and staff turnover there must, therefore, be a broad base of government, civil society, and private sector support for the accession initiative. This is only possible with broad consultation and a clear sense of the costs, benefits, and priorities of WTO accession are. On the basis of recent accession experience, current and future developing country applicants can expect to have their agricultural tariffs bound at an average rate well below 20 percent and below 10 percent for non-agricultural goods. (Least developed countries appear, according to figures 2 and 3 above, to have been given more lenient treatment.) The employment and other implications of these market access commitments for adjustment in import-competing sectors should be considered.

Applicants can also expect to sign around 20 specific commitments, some which will have implications for sensitive policies such as intellectual property rights. With respect to this class of commitments, applicants ought to develop the capacity to document and demonstrate why any proposal from an existing WTO members is against the applicant’s development goals. Identifying own national priorities is simply not enough,. Bbeing able to effectively respond to the negotiating proposals of other nations is important if flexibility is to be obtained. If pressed to accept expensive specific commitments, applicants should at a minimum insist on technical assistance to mitigate the implementation costs.15
Given the duration, complexity, and wide reaching scope of the WTO accession process, in partnership with the financers and providers of technical assistance, accession countries should develop a “road map” that identifies the different types of assistance needs required at each stage of the WTO accession process. The diagnostic tools associated with the Integrated Framework, with have been successfully applied in Cambodia, for example, and that are currently being used in the context of Ethiopia, and XXX’’s accessions, provide a comprehensive assessment of national needs. In this regard, it is worth noting thatalso important to avoid the overlooking that post-accession implementation needs are oftenbe overlooked—typically since as this will typically to the detriment ofconspire against the capacity undermine the ability of the private sector that may not be able toin to capitalizeeing on theany export opportunities creatpresented by joining the WTO.

Officials in developing countries have benefited from the experience of those experts in other developing countries that have recently acceded to the WTO. Such so-called South-South learning can be very valuable. Jordan, for example, offers such expertise to fellow MENAMiddle-Eastern and North African countries that are seeking to join the WTO.

Shrewd officials from applicant countries have also sought to optimize the value of any technical assistance received. Playing a full role in drafting the terms of reference for international consultants is important and, if permitted, so is contribuparticipating toin the selection process for such consultants. Ensuring the workshops and consultants visits are tailed to country-specific circumstances and involve follow up is also important. Picking the right officials to attend workshops and promoting the learning of official WTO languages contributes positively as well. In short, making the most of WTO accession requires making the most of technical assistance offered to applicants.

VI. SYSTEMIC IMPLICATIONS OF RECENT WTO ACCESSION EXPERIENCE.CONCLUDING REMARKS
The first 20 completed WTO accessions have raised systemic concerns that ought to be of interest to existing WTO members, not just to the as well as to applicants.FORM (a revised summary of sections 3.1 to 3.5 of Evenett, Gage and Kennett)
SUBSTANCE


  • major challenges faced by countries ( a revised version of section 3 in Zarcone, Fink, Primo Braga); description of relevant aspects (e.g., length of time, role of working party participants, comparison with GATT years)

  • results (WTO commitments: goods (agriculture), services, IPRs, …) – expanding your Berlin ppt with special attention to WTO-plus concerns



  1. THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF WTO ACCESSION

THEORY: why countries decide to apply, what could be expected from accession


PRACTICE: evidence from accession implications (market access, trade expansion, regulatory reform, …)


  1. CONCLUDING REMARKS

Implications for technical assistance

How to design development-oriented road maps
Suggestions on how to streamline the process (?)
The first concern is that the growing price of WTO accession, including forcing applicants to agree to WTO+ and WTO- commitments, is creating a group of second class citizens within thetwo-tiered world trading system in which recently-acceded countries have higher obligations and more limited “rights.” Their commitment to that system, which is manifesting itself in the unwillingness of some of the recent applicants to liberalize in the context of the Doha Development Round, is undermined by pressure to take on obligations well beyond the Uruguay Round agreements and This, in turn, is currentlyis manifesting itself in the unwillingnesdemands of some of the recent applicants to liberalizebe treated differently in the context much in the context of the Doha Development RoundAgenda liberalization efforts.. It is for that reason that sSome observers16 have called for applicants to pay a price for accession that is both commensurate with their level of development and with the obligations of existing WTO members at the same level of development.16 The former has been partially recognized by the WTO membership and manifested itself with the WTO General Council’s adoption of non-binding guidelines for the accession of least developed countries in December 2002.17 To date, the latter—a call for another form of parity—has been steadfastly rejected by WTO members to date.

At a time when the world trading system is supposed to be taking the interests of developing countries much more seriously, the lengthening time to negotiate accession and the uncertainty created by the inadequate legal definition of the price of WTO accession are major concerns. If the goal is to ensure that a WTO accession contributes to national development goals, one has to ask whether expecting a developing country’s officials and civil society to sustain interest in a process that could take a decade and involves considerable complexity in return for at best an uncertain and deferred rewards is the best way to organize the WTO accession process that can be accomplished. Uncertainty over the price of WTO accession gives opponents of trade and investment reforms a golden opportunity to exaggerate the negative and undermine support for the accession process. Leaders with all but the longest time horizons are less likely to seriously support an accession effort which, at best, pays off up to a decade in the futurein a decade. It is also worth noting that the WTO is perhaps the only international economic organization that asks nations to stick to a program of such length. In short, the developmental needs and the necessity of sustaining initial support for joining the WTO process should drive the design and operation of the WTO accession process and associated technical assistance. Failure to do so risks creating a growing group of disgruntled “second –class” citizenparticipantss in the world trading system whose support for further trade reform will be likely be tepid at best.



REFERENCES
Anderson, Kym, and W. Martin, 2005, “Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda.” Draft manuscript.
Bacchetta, Marc and Zdenek Drabek, “Effects of WTO Accession on Policy-Making in Sovereign States: Preliminary lessons from the recent experience of transition countries,” Staff Working Paper ERSD-2002-02. Geneva: WTO.

.
Evenett (2005a)., Simon J. Evenett (ed.), 2005a, Preparing For WTO Accession: Insights From Development Countries. January 2005. Draft manuscript.
Evenett, (2005b). Simon J., Evenett2005b. “Summary Of Participants’ Remarks and Recommendations.” Prepared after a Joint World Bank-GTZ workshop on WTO accession matters, Berlin, 17-19 November 2004. Daraft manuscript.Berlin.
Finger, Ingco, and Reincke (1996)., J. Michael, Finger, Melinda D. Ingco, and Ulrich Reincke, 1996,. The Uruguay Round: Statistics on Tariff Concessions Given and Received. World Bank. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
Grynberg, Roman, Victor Ognivtsev, and Mohammad A. Razzaque, 2002, Paying the Price for Joining the WTO: A Comparative Assessment of Service Sector Commitments by WTO Members and Acceding Countries. Commonwealth Secretariat. Economic Paper 54. London, United Kingdom.

Kennett, Evenett, and Gage (2005). , Maxine Kennett, Simon J. Evenett, and Jonathan Gage, 2005,. Evaluating WTO Accessions: Legal aAnd Economic Perspectives. January 2005. Draft manuscript.

Marchetti, Juan A., 2004, “Developing Countries in the WTO Services Negotiations,” Staff Working Paper ERSD-2004-06. Geneva: WTO.

Michalopoulous, (20021). Costas, 2002, Michalopoulous. “WTO Accession.” In Bernard M. Hoekman, Philip English, and Aaditya Mattoo (eds). Development, Trade, and tThe WTO: A Handbook. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. Washington.
Rose, (2003). Andrew, 2003, Rose. “Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?” Review of International Economics.
Subramanian and Wei (2003).

Arvind Subramanian, Arvind and Shang-Jin Wei,. 2003, “The WTO Promote Trade, Strongly But Unevenly.” International Monetary Fund working paper WP/03/185.


WTO, 1995, “Accession to the World Trade Organization,” WT/ACC/1.
WTO, 2002, “Accession of Least Developed Countries,” WT/COMTD/LDC/12.
WTO, 2004a, “Technical Note on the Accession Process,” WT/ACC/10/Rev.2.
WTO, 2004b, “Technical Note on the Accession Process: State of Play and Information on Current Accessions,” WT/ACC/11/Rev.4.

Zarcone, Fabrizio, Carsten Fink and Carlos A. Primo Braga, 2005, “Technical Assistance and WTO Accession: Lessons from Experience.” Prepared after a Joint World Bank-GTZ workshop on WTO accession matters, Berlin, 17-19 November 2004. Draft manuscript.


Further Reading

Bhattasali, Deepak, William Martin, and Li Shantong, 2004, (editors.) China and the WTO: Accession, Policy Reform, and Poverty Reduction Strategy. World Bank and Oxford University Press.

Goldstein, Judith, Douglas Rivers, and Michael Tomz, 2003, “How Does The Trade Regime Affect International Trade?” Mimeo. Department of Political Science. Stanford University.

Hamada, Koichi, 2004, “China’s entry into the WTO and its impact on the global economic system,” in Mike Moore, ed., Doha and Beyond: The Future of the Multilateral Trading System. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Lissovolik, Bodgan and Yaroslav Lissovolik, 2004,. “Russia and the WTO: The “gravity” of outside status.” Mimeo. International Monetary Fund.

Rose, Andrew, 2002a, “Do we really know that the WTO increases trade?” NBER Working Paper # 9273.

Rose, Andrew, 2002b, “Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?” NBER Working Paper # 9347.

Rose, Andrew, 2004, “Do we really know that the WTO increases trade?,”American Economic Review, 94 (March): 98-114.


ANNEX I: LIST OF COUNTRIES CURRENTLY SEEKING ACCESSION TO THE WTO.


Algeria

Andorra

Azerbaijan

Bahamas

Belarus

*Bhutan

Bosnia and Herzegovina

*Cape Verde

*Ethiopia

Kazakhstan

*Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Lebanese Republic

Russian Federation

*Samoa

Saudi Arabia

Serbia and Montenegro

Seychelles

*Sudan

Tajikistan

Tonga

Ukraine

Uzbekistan

*Vanuatu

Vietnam

*Yemen

* Indicates Least Developed Country.




WTO Acceding Countries (and their application date)


Europe and Central Asia

Middle-East and North Africa

East Asia and Pacific

Sub Saharan Africa

South Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean

Russia

(June 1993)



Algeria

(June 1987)



Viet Nam

(Jan 1995)



Sudan*

(Oct 1994)



Bhutan*

(Sep 1999)



Bahamas (May 2001)

Belarus

(Sep 1993)



Saudi Arabia (June 1993)

Tonga

(June 1995)



Seychelles (May 1995)

Afganistán* (Dec 2004)




Ukraine

(Nov 1993)



Lebanon

(Jan 1999)

Vanuatu*

(July 1995)



Cape Verde* (Nov 1999)







Uzbekistan (Dec 1994)

Yemen*

(April 2000)



Laos*

(July 1997)



Etiopía*

(Jan 2003)









Kazakhstan (Jan 1996)

Libya

(June 2004)



Samoa*

(April 1998)












Azerbaijan (June 1997)

Iraq

(Dec 2004)















Bosnia & Herz. (May 1999)















Andorra (July 1999)

















Tajikistan (May 2001)

 

 

 

 

 

Montenegro (Feb 2005)
















Serbia

(Feb 2005)


















Notes: The Working Party on the Accession of Vanuatu completed its procedures on 29 October 2001. Vanuatu has not, however, followed up on its accession. Serbia and Montenegro had originally made a joint application on January 2001, but in February 2005 this application was withdrawn and replaced by individual applications for each one of them as independent customs territories.

* Identifies a least-developed country.


ANNEX II: CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT HAVE ACCEDED TO THE WTO.

Number

New Member

Date of membership


Ecuador

21-Jan-96



Bulgaria

01-Dec-96



Mongolia

29-Jan-97



Panama

06-Sep-97



Kyrgyz Republic

20-Dec-98



Latvia

10-Feb-99



Estonia

13-Nov-99



Jordan

11-Apr-00



Georgia

14-Jun-00



Albania

08-Sep-00

Oman


09-Nov-00



Croatia

30-Nov-00



Lithuania

31-May-01



Moldova

26-Jul-01



China

11-Dec-01



Chinese Taipei

01-Jan-02



Armenia

05-Feb-03



FYR Macedonia

04-Apr-03



Nepal

23-Apr-04



Cambodia

13 Oct-04

ANNEX II: CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT HAVE ACCEDED TO THE WTO.


Number

New Member
Date of membership



Ecuador

21-Jan-96



Bulgaria

01-Dec-96



Mongolia

29-Jan-97



Panama

06-Sep-97



Kyrgyz Republic

20-Dec-98



Latvia

10-Feb-99



Estonia

13-Nov-99



Jordan

11-Apr-00



Georgia

14-Jun-00




Albania

08-Sep-00



Oman

09-Nov-00



Croatia

30-Nov-00



Lithuania

31-May-01



Moldova

26-Jul-01



China

11-Dec-01



Taiwan, China

01-Jan-02



Armenia

05-Feb-03



FYR Macedonia

04-Apr-03



Nepal

23-Apr-04




Cambodia

13 Oct-04


1 Simon J. Evenett is a University Lecturer in International Business, Said Business School, Oxford University.Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen and a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution. Carlos A. Primo Braga is Senior Adviser, International Trade Department, The World Bank. Comments and assistance from Patrick G. Reichenmiller and Carsten Fink are gratefully acknowledged. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The World Bank, its Executive Directors, or the countries they represent.

2 See list of suggested readings and the references provided in this note.

3 These studies are part of a project titled Preparing Ffor and Evaluating WTO Accessions, and that was funded by the IndependentInternational Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada.

4 See WTO (1995, 2004a and 2004b) for details about the accession process.

5 Any current member of the WTO can join the Working Party established to consider the accession of a new member.

6 In figures 2 and 3 the data for the LDCs are represented using hollow vertical bars and the data for the DCs are represented using solid vertical black bars.

7 The following informationfigures may provide a useful comparators. According to Finger et al (1996) the average bound MFN tariff rate on the imports of all merchandise goods by a group of 26 lower and middle income countries imports was 25.2 percent. For industrial goods the comparable average bound MFN tariff rate was 20 percent. Anderson and Martin (2005) point out that by 2001, the average weighted agricultural import tariffs were 48 percent for developing countries (WTO taxonomy) and 78 for LDCs.


8 The following information may provide a useful comparator. According to Finger et al (1996) the average bound MFN tariff rate on the imports of all merchandise goods by a group of 26 lower and middle income countries imports was 25.2 percent. For industrial goods the comparable average bound MFN tariff rate was 20 percent.

8 It is also worth noting that Nepal and Cambodia, the two LDCs that joined the WTO since 1995, committed to 76 and 93 sub-sectors, respectively, in contrast to the 20 sub-sectors that in average LDCs had committed during the Uruguay Round. For further details about services commitments in the GATS see Marchetti (2004).

9 It is also worth noting that LaosNepal and Cambodia, the two LDCs that joined the WTO since 1995, committed to 76[] and []93 sub-sectors, respectively, in contrast to the 20 sub-sectors that in average LDCs had committed during the Uruguay Round. For further details about services commitments in the GATS see Marchetti (2004).

9 Grynberg, Ognivtsev, and Razzaque (2002) came to a similar conclusion. They summarize their findings as follows: "At the most aggregate level, while WTO members have on average taken up some kind of commitment in six sectors out of a maximum of 12, the comparable figures for acceding countries is ten. At the 2-digit level, acceded countries took commitments in 36 sectors compared to only 17 taken by WTO members. Finally, at the most disaggregated level, acceding countries have commitments almost two and a half times bigger--103 as against 42. The accession negotiations have resulted in countries undertaking commitments that apparently bear no relationship to their level of economic development as reflected in per capita income" (page vii).


10 These determinants are the national incomes of the two trading partners and the geographical distance between them. Other determinants that are usually included in such analyses include proxy variables to pick up the effect of two nations sharing a common language and a common border and their respective memberships of regional trading agreements.

11 See, for example, Kennett, Evenett, and Gage (2005)

12 That is, to Canada, the members of the European Union, Japan, and the United States.

12 That is, to Canada, the members of the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Given the delays in making available international trade data, in 2004 Bulgaria and Ecuador were the only medium-sized non-landlocked countries to join the WTO for which there was five years of post-accession trade data available. The choice of these countries was, therefore, not arbitrary.

13 See, for example, Bacchetta and Drabek (2002).

14 The experiences of six developing countries in organizing for WTO accession can be found in Evenett (2005a). Evenett (2005b) summarizes the interventions of a number of developing country participants on this subject at a joint World Bank-GTZ workshop that was held in November 2004.

14 The experiences of six developing countries in organizing for WTO accession can be found in Evenett (2005a). Evenett (2005b) summarizes the interventions of a number of developing country participants on this subject at a joint World Bank-GTZ workshop that was held in November 2004. Zarcone, Fink and Primo Braga (2005), in turn, summarize relevant experiences with technical assistance as discussed in this workshop.


15 It is said that certain It is said that certain least developed countries developing countries have successfully used taken this approach in their WTO accession negotiations.

16 Michalopoulous (20012) and Kennett, Evenett, and Gage (2005).

16 See, for example, Michalopoulos (2002) and Kennett, Evenett, and Gage (2005).

17 These Guidelines call on existing members to exercise restraint in seeking concessions on trade in goods and services from acceding LDCs. See WTO (2002).







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