Focus on the Global South
Officals from Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture have expressed their elation over the outcome of the recent General Council (that in effect became a Ministerial Meeting) of the World Trade Organization in Geneva. The basis for their overwhelming joy is their belief that the framework agreement that came out of the meeting  Reflects the main demands of the Philippines in the negotiations; and  that the framework and consequently the negotiations for the conclusion of the so-called Doha Round will be beneficial to the Philippines.
Interestingly, the last time the heads of these two departments expressed this much happiness in relation to talks in the WTO was in September 2003, right after the historic (second) collapse of the WTO negotiations in Cancun, Mexico. Both Secretary Cito Lorenzo and Secretary Manuel Roxas II then called the collapse a positive development for the Philippines. Secretary Roxas expressed further the sentiment expressed by many developing countries, that
BY BASS UMALI
How can small fishers benefit from global trade? The WTO design offers no space for small producers. Small fishers are not represented, their interests are not articulated and in many cases misrepresented in trade negotiations. In fact, there is no substantial definition of the term "small fisher" in any WTO legal document. And governments do not necessarily represent small sectors' interests in trade negotiations.
Cristina A. Morales,Policy Analyst and Research Associate of Action for Economic Reforms
* This article was first published in the Yellow Pad column of BusinessWorld on 23 Febraury 2004.
The Philippines finds itself today in a conjuncture that makes it necessary to review the lessons that we were supposed to learn from the East Asian Crisis of 1997. With a politically charged environment as a backdrop, the Philippine economy has continued exhibiting disturbing traits and this has called the attention of not a few economic experts.
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