Executive summary

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At the Fourth World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting held in Doha in November 2001, Ministers launched a comprehensive set of multilateral trade negotiations and a work programme. This mandate is sometimes referred to as the Doha Development Agenda, reflecting a shared desire to ensure that the trading system is relevant and responsive to the needs of developing countries. Among the areas covered by the negotiations or the work programme are market access in manufactures, agriculture and services, certain rules (including anti-dumping, subsidies and countervailing measures, and regional arrangements), trade and environment, trade-related intellectual property rights, the relationship between trade and investment, the interaction between trade and competition policy, transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation, and dispute settlement. Developing countries were particularly instrumental in putting certain issues on the agenda, including trade and technology transfer, trade, debt and finance, small economies, implementation issues (mostly pending from the Uruguay Round) and special and differential treatment. Views continue to differ on how and in some cases whether to include all the issues mentioned above in the negotiations, which are due for completion at the end of 2004.

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