Experts still optimists on Doha

Andrew Stol­er, Direc­tor of the Insti­tute for Inter­na­tion­al Trade at Ade­laide Uni­ver­si­ty and for­mer Deputy Direc­tor-Gen­er­al of WTO has pub­lished the results of his most recent poll of expert opinion—including the anony­mous views of nego­tia­tors in Geneva—on the WTO Doha round (122 respon­dents). Here’s his summary:

While experts remain in large part scep­ti­cal about the prospects for wrap­ping up the Round in 2011, there is a greater deal of opti­mism than we’ve seen for quite some time. This means, we might at least look for very sig­nif­i­cant for­ward move­ment in the nego­ti­a­tions in 2011, even if it might not be pos­si­ble to finalise the talks. How­ev­er, there are a num­ber of things that prob­a­bly need to hap­pen if we are to real­ize the poten­tial for sub­stan­tial progress. 

  • Like it or not, revised chair­per­sons’ texts will be need­ed by the end of the first quar­ter and these texts will need to be large­ly accept­ed by nego­tia­tors, with only a min­i­mum num­ber of issues left for polit­i­cal-lev­el decisions;
  • The new chair­per­sons’ texts in agri­cul­ture and NAMA will need to fit this descrip­tion. In both areas there are still far too many unre­solved issues on the table and they can­not all be tossed up to Min­is­ters for resolution;
  • Although we need to see progress in areas oth­er than just agri­cul­ture and NAMA, nego­tia­tors should prob­a­bly focus their ener­gies on those areas where out­comes are key to the over­all suc­cess of the Round; and,
  • There would be con­sid­er­able val­ue in set­ting a dead­line for the nego­ti­a­tions that would be bind­ing and inflex­i­ble. The cred­i­bil­i­ty of the sys­tem depends on this and past expe­ri­ence has shown that real­ly dif­fi­cult issues are not resolved before they absolute­ly need to be.

You can down­load the detailed results of the Poll here

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