Promoting Capability Enhancing Development

Brief
Date period
6 March 2018

The World Trade Organization's Eleventh Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires did not deliver on special and differential treatment (S&DT). Partly, this is because the debate on S&DT and policy space rests on different views on the optimal nature and scope of trade policies, and on the role of governments in promoting structural transformation. The discussions presented in this policy brief – also available in French  and Spanish – bring to light the need to acknowledge the rising call from a number of lower income developing countries to consider ways in which multilateral trade rules can best support the design of trade and trade-related policies enabling of economic transformation. WTO members could further seize this opportunity to open up a broader debate on how new technologies, the configuration of global value chains, and regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements influence the nature and scope of today’s trade and industrial development policies.