Trade and Investment

Informal Note, November 2017

WTO MC11: Issues at Stake for Developing Countries

This is an informal briefing note on all the pertinent issues to developing countries for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference which will be held in Buenos Aires in December 2017.

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ECA and SC Policy Brief and Update, May and September 2017

Eleventh World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (Buenos Aires, December 2017) in the context of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the Continental Free Trade Area

This present policy brief has been made available by the African Trade Policy Centre of the Economic Commission for Africa to provide background information on the key issues expected to be discussed at the eleventh World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference. It is based on a series of discussion papers developed by the African Trade Policy Centre in collaboration with the South Centre. Full papers are available upon request.

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Analytical Note, July 2017

The WTO’s Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations

Attempts are made to revitalise the fisheries subsidies negotiations at the WTO with the aim of achieving an outcome at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2017.

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Analytical Note, July 2017

Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

Since 2015, the theme of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) has emerged after the Philippines submitted a proposal on this issue in the WTO, calling for discussions to take place in a more sustained way.

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Research Paper 62R, July 2017

Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Increasing the Barriers for the Access to Affordable Medicines (revised)

Most free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by the United States, the European Union and the members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in the last 15 years contain chapters on intellectual property rights with provisions applicable to pharmaceuticals. Such provisions considerably expand the rights recognized to pharmaceutical companies under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) established in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO). (more…)

Investment Policy Brief 9, July 2017

The Legal Nature of the Draft Pan-African Investment Code and its Relationship with International Investment Agreements

The present Policy Brief examines the drafting and negotiating process of the draft Pan-African Investment Code (PAIC). It analyses different aspects of this process, particularly the legal nature of the PAIC and its relationship with other international investment agreements.

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Policy Brief 38, April 2017

Implications of a US Border Adjustment Tax, Especially on Developing Countries

A new protectionist device, the US “border adjustment” tax, is being planned that could devastate the exports of developing countries and cause American and other foreign companies to relocate. This policy brief explains the complexities and implications  of this proposed measure and the major question of whether such a measure will violate the rules of the WTO is also examined.

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Policy Brief 37, March 2017

The Need to Avoid “TRIPS-Plus” Patent Clauses in Trade Agreements

A recent article in a prestigious journal reminds us of how the intellectual property chapter of free trade agreements can prevent the sick from getting treatment.  This article also critiques the TPP clauses and warns that they should not be translated to national laws or copied into other FTAs being negotiated. 
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Investment Policy Brief 8, March 2017

Reflections on the Discussion of Investment Facilitation

‘Investment facilitation’ is a concept repeated in discussions pertaining to investment policies and treaties, including those addressing the reform of investment treaties. The discussion on investment facilitation is taking place in various fora and contexts. (more…)

Analytical Note, March 2017

The TRIPS and WTO Negotiations: Stakes for Africa

This paper discusses the current negotiation issues in the context of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the position the African Group has taken in these negotiations. (more…)


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