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 UAE Participation in the DDA

WTO Doha Development Round of negotiations

At the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001 WTO member governments adopted The November 2001 declaration which provides the mandate for negotiations on a range of subjects and other work. The negotiations include those on agriculture and services, which began in early 2000.

  • Agriculture: To launch comprehensive negotiations aimed at substantial improvements in market access; reductions of, with a view to phasing out all forms of export subsidies; and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support especially that provided to the cotton and to maintain special and differential treatment for developing countries
  • Services: To achieve ,gradually , higher levels of liberalization in all of the services sectors through improved market access especially in sectors of interest to the developing countries
  • WTO Rules: Negotiations aimed at clarifying and improving disciplines concerning Subsidies and Countervailing Measures anti dumping , while preserving the basic concepts, principles and effectiveness of these Agreements and their instruments and objectives, and taking into account the needs of developing and least-developed participants.
  • Trade Facilitation: To clarify and improve relevant aspects of the WTO legislation to facilitate the movement of goods across the border and to identify the trade facilitation needs and priorities of members, in particular developing and least-developed countries.
  • Intellectual property: To negotiate the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits. The extension of the protection of geographical indications to products other than wines and spirits and to review the implementation of the TRIPS to examine, inter alia, the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore, the implementation and interpretation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) in a manner supportive of public health, by promoting both access to existing medicines and research and development into new medicines, and other relevant new developments raised by members concerning the development dimension.
  • Dispute SettlementUnderstanding: To negotiate on improvements and clarifications of the Dispute Settlement Understanding.
  • Trade and environment: To negotiate, with the aim to enhance the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment on the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
  • Special and differential treatment for developing and Least Developed Countries: To review all special and differential treatment provisions with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational.

UAE Contributions to the DDA

The UAE, in collaboration with some other developing members of the WTO, played an active role in the DDA negotiations, especially the negotiations that led to amending the TRIPS agreement to enable the developing members from producing generic medicines.

  • NAMA negotiations: The UAE introduced the raw material sectoral initiative which aims to reduce, harmonize or as appropriate eliminate tariffs over and above that which would be achieved by the formula modality, in particular on products of export interest to developing Members. The initiative is of particular interest to the primary aluminium industry in the UAE. The primary aluminium is an input to various industries which makes the initiative of equal interest for both the developing countries who produce the raw material and the developed countries since the cost of the primary material accounts for more than 50% of the cost of the final products.
  • The UAE contributed to the negotiations on trade in services through its initial offer of July 2005 which reflects improved market access in sectors such as logistic services, energy services, construction services, maritime transportation services, computer services, and financial services. The initial offer is a translation of the UAE's services trade strategy which aims to:
    • Strengthening partnership with international companies to encourage transfer of knowhow to develop the local sectors.
    • Encourage competition in the local market between the foreign service suppliers to enhance quality and reduce the cost of it.
    • To facilitate the participation of domestic service suppliers in the global trade in services and the expansion of their service exports through increased efficiency and competitiveness.
  • In may 2006, the UAE also joined the work team on maritime transportation services with the aim to contribute to more liberalization in this vital services sector.