WTO (Negotiations, Regular Work, Leadership)

Cooperation for Development: South-South Development Assistance for Non-resident Countries

CUTS Geneva Resource Centre organized this session during the WTO Geneva Week to strengthen South-South cooperation and to help non-resident countries harness the development potential of international trade.

Speaking at this event, Zhang Xiangchen Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the WTO emphasized that the development mandate of Doha Round should be preserved. CUTS event was part of WTO Geneva Week – organisation of special events by the WTO Secretariat for the representatives of 24 mostly least-developed and small island countries that are either members or observers at the WTO but do not have any permanent mission in Geneva to follow WTO negotiations.

Earlier Dr Brave Ndisale, ambassador of Malawi to the WTO outlined the formidable constraints that non-resident countries face in their regular and effective participation in the WTO. According to her these countries need assistance from larger developing countries to bridge the existing technical, institutional and coordination gaps. In particular she mentioned the needs for training on trade-related issues through trilateral cooperation, i.e. attachment of non-resident countries’ staff at Geneva organisations like CUTS through funding support from other developing countries like China and India.

Ravi Bangar, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the WTO also spoke on the occasion. He provided details of India’s development assistance to other developing countries which is based on the needs of the recipient countries. According to him even sky will not be the limit for South-South cooperation.

In his concluding remarks, Ramamurti Badrinath, Director CUTS GRC, summarized the main points that had emerged from the discussion in the event: South-South development assistance has become a significant reality from a theoretical option; its qualitative dimension is equally important as Southern donors are better familiar with the development constraints of other developing countries; and there is great scope for such assistance to promote trade in services. He also offered CUTS services to provide needs-based and demand-driven capacity building assistance to non-resident countries through trilateral cooperation.