ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Small Gains, but Significant

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY Small Gains, but Significant There can hardly be a contrary point of view on welcoming the fact that negotiations on reviving the Doha round have come to a successful conclusion. For, the failure of the Cancun Ministerial had led to a freeze that was not conducive to either the negotiating country governments or to the civil society opposition to them. Having said that, however, it is important to remember that the framework agreement only marks a beginning to the process of revival of multilateral trade negotiations. The next ministerial conference is now back on track, belatedly, and is scheduled for December 2005 in Hong Kong. The high point of the agreement is that a way has been found around contentious issues relating to agriculture including cotton, and the Singapore issues that had stalled the process at Cancun. All but one of the Singapore issues have been shelved. This has brought forward trade facilitation on the current agenda. A negotiating group has been set up and modalities defined (see p 3578). The main change in the revised draft that was finally agreed to on August 1, relates to the capping of Blue Box support to 5 per cent of a country

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