Recent analysis from IFPRI concludes that the expected gains from the December 2008 Doha proposal – while limited – are positive, and that concluding the Round in 2010 is important to secure trade and growth during the incoming global recovery period. However it can be improved by specific steps to address the needs of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable economies.
Under the current proposal, real income would improve globally by about US$70 billion annually, and global exports would increase by 2 percent. Middle-income developing countries would enjoy substantial gains. Unfortunately, the impact would be modest, if not negative, for some least-developed countries (LDCs). LDCs would be hurt by eroded preferences, rising agricultural prices (if they are net-food importing countries) and the absence of trade reform in their own economies.
The recent IFPRI Issue Brief, “Eight Years of Doha: Where do we Stand?” recommends that the OECD countries, along with Brazil, India, and China, provide 100 percent Duty-Free Quota-Free access to LDCs to boost their gains from a final trade agreement. Wealthy countries should also provide an aid for trade package aimed at reducing trade costs in the poorest countries, including improving market infrastructure.