OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Scenarios for the World Trading System and Their Implications for Developing Countries

Four scenarios for the global trading system in the 1990s are outlined and their implications for developing countries considered: (i) further development of a GATT-based trading regime; (ii) development of a world of trading blocs -- where the critical issue is not whether they will emerge (they will) but whether they become "building blocks" for a more integrated global system or "stumbling blocks" that cause the system to fragment; (iii) development of a system of managed trade, where political forces would dominate outcomes and which could evolve out of the friction between Japan and the United States or Europe; and (iv) movement beyond GATT and dealing with international problems "at the borders" toward a system of deeper global harmonisation in such areas as competition policy, standards, regulatory practices and technology policies.

The answer to the question of which of these scenarios will predominate is of growing importance for developing countries, both because of ...


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