8 - Priorities for small States in global trade governance  pp. 204-230

Priorities for small States in global trade governance

By Edwin Laurent

Image View Previous Chapter Next Chapter



To make their participation in the multilateral trading system more effective and beneficial, small States are becoming increasingly vocal in their advocacy of their special interests as ‘small countries’. These efforts are attracting growing international attention. The extent to which one can make a compelling claim that systems for global trade governance should address the needs of small States, depends on whether one can establish the specificity of their interests. If the economic circumstances and needs of small States in the trading system were similar to those of other developing countries, they could simply rely on larger and more influential States to help advocate on their behalf. However, the ‘smallness’ of small States gives them unique characteristics, which in turn means that their trade interests are distinct from other countries. This chapter argues that to achieve the goals that they alone have a vested interest in securing in the multilateral trading system, small States themselves will have to secure the relevant changes, decisions and concessions.

Brigulio, L.Persaud, B.Stern, R.2006Towards an Outward-Oriented Development Strategy for Small States: Issues, Opportunities and Resilience BuildingLondonCommonwealth Secretariat
Commonwealth Advisory Group1997A Future for Small States: Overcoming VulnerabilityLondonCommonwealth Secretariat
Cooper, A.Shaw, T.2009The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and ResilienceUnited KingdomPalgrave Macmillan
Jones, E.Deere Birkbeck, C.Woods, N.2010Manoeuvring at the Margins: The Constraints Faced by Small States in International Trade NegotiationsLondonCommonwealth Secretariat
Kaukab, R. S.2009Development Effects of the Doha Round on SVEsLondonCommonwealth Secretariat
Laurent, E.2007Understanding International Trade: A CARICOM PerspectiveJamaicaIan Randle
Spolaore, E.2004Is Small Really So Ugly?World Trade Review3447
Sutherland, V.Faruqi, R.Masood, A.2000Small States: Meeting the Challenges in the Global EconomyLondonCommonwealth Secretariat
World Trade Organization (WTO)1994General Agreement on Tariffs and TradeGenevaWTO
World Trade Organization (WTO)1994Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of DisputesGenevaWTO
World Trade Organization (WTO)2001Doha Ministerial Declaration adopted at the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference November 2001GenevaWTO
World Trade Organization (WTO)2003WTO, US – Measures Affecting Cross Border Supply of Gambling and Betting ServicesGenevaWTO