The Doha Round was a series of trade negotiations between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and multiple other countries.
It has been a global topic in early 2000 and is still discussed due to remarkable discussion and points made by the participating countries representatives.
This article will discuss what is Doha Round, what was its objective and why is it significance in global trade.
What Is Doha Round?
The Doha Round, aka Doha Development Agenda was a trade negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which took place from 2001 to 2008. The Doha Round began with a ministerial declaration in 2001 and was intended to be the successor to the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. Its stated objective was to lower trade barriers around the world, thus liberalizing global trade.
The Doha Round talks broke down in July 2008, and failed to reach an agreement on many key issues and was considered a major setback for the WTO.
Despite its failure to achieve its goals, the Doha Round did result in some important outcomes. For instance, WTO member states reached an agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which sets global standards for intellectual property protection.
What was the Objective of Doha Round?
The Doha Round of trade negotiations was launched in 2001 with the aim of reducing barriers to trade and achieving greater global economic integration. The talks were named after the city of Doha in Qatar, where they were first held.
The objectives of the Doha Round were to:
- Reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods
- Promote access to markets for developing countries
- Address the needs of least developed countries
- Enhance market access for environmental goods and services
- Reduce agricultural subsidies and trade restrictions
- Strengthen rules on intellectual property rights protection
The round was seen as a way to boost global economic growth following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the resulting slowdown in world trade. However, the negotiations proved to be highly contentious, with disagreements between developed and developing countries over a number of issues.
In July 2008, WTO members announced that they had failed to reach an agreement on the Doha Round. While the talks have been officially suspended, some efforts are still being made to revive them.
What Is the Significance of Doha Round?
The Doha Round of trade negotiations was one of the most significant rounds of trade talks in recent history. The agenda discussed how to further open up markets and rules in agricultural products, services sectors and intellectual property rights.
The Doha Round was important because it was the first time that developing countries had a major say in the outcome of trade negotiations. In previous rounds, such as the Uruguay Round (1986-1994), developed countries had been the driving force behind the talks. But in Doha, developing countries played a leading role and helped to shape the agenda. This was partly due to the fact that many developed countries were facing economic difficulties at the time, whereas many developing countries were experiencing strong economic growth.
It also marked a shift in focus from cutting tariffs (import taxes) to liberalizing services and protecting intellectual property rights. This reflected the changing structure of the global economy, where services and knowledge-based industries are increasingly important.
The talks finally broke down in 2008 without reaching an agreement. This was largely due to disagreements between developed and developing countries over how to reduce agricultural subsidies and end the policy of using tariffs to protect domestic farmers.
The Doha Round of negotiations was a key moment in the history of international trade. It was intended to liberalize global trade and reduce poverty, but ultimately failed to reach a conclusion.
However, it did lay the groundwork for subsequent trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement.
In conclusion, while the Doha Round ultimately failed to reach its goals, it did help pave the way for future trade negotiations and agreements.