vendredi 6 mars 2009

A contribution on World Trade Organization (WTO) reform

Herbert Bösch*

The time to think about reforms in the structure of the WTO has come over the last years. As we can see nowadays, countries could not benefit equally from the process of economic liberalisation. There is a big clash between rich and poor countries that seems to be insuperable.

The industrialised countries have got considerable advantages in joining the WTO, contrariwise to the developing countries, which could not really benefit from the organisation. The system has often boosted the exploitation of developing countries in taking the countries' own resources for gaining benefits for themselves.

Therefore the WTO is not fulfilling its main goal of reducing obstacles to trade for every country. It seems to be that this goal was fully implemented in developing countries whereas industrial countries still count on their protectionist measures, even at the expense of the former. Thus it is really necessary to reform the WTO in a better policy making system in order to retain the main approach of security, transparency and stability in international trade.

Taking some consideration into account, it will not be a right approach to reclassify countries on the basis of their economic situation, because it needs other criteria as well. Their economic situation is only giving an overview, but to classify countries the social standards, the health care, education, living conditions and the allocation of the capital should also be considered.
The decision making process of the WTO should also be rethought within the principles of democracy.

In future the WTO has to consider these major problems for implementing their objectives. It will be essential to regard the developing countries in a consequential way in order to achieve WTO's intents.

* Herbert Bösch, diputado socialista austríaco al Parlamento Europeo, es el portavoz del Grupo Socialista en EuroLat para el debate que, sobre la reforma de la Organización Mundial del Comercio, tendrá lugar en la III Sesión Plenaria de esta Asamblea (Madrid, 6-8 de abril de 2009)