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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