Singapore Issues

Book by the South Centre, 2019

The Politics of Trade in the Era of Hyperglobalisation: A Southern African Perspective


About the Book:

Matters of international trade are increasingly widely recognised as major shapers of global politics. News bulletins are giving more and more coverage to matters like the so-called “trade wars” between the United States and China. These are, indeed, increasingly defining relations between the two largest economies in the world and could well underpin a multi-dimensional rivalry that could be a central feature of international relations for many years to come. Brexit is dominating and indeed re-shaping politics in the United Kingdom. By definition a rejection of a regional integration arrangement, Brexit has also revealed under-currents profoundly shaped by the outcome of a broader trade-driven process called “globalisation”. Just as regional integration is weakening in Europe, African countries have taken decisions that could lead to the most profound and ambitious step forward in African regional integration – the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This study seeks to present an analysis of the political economy of trade negotiations over the past quarter century on two main fronts: the multi-lateral and those pertaining to regional integration on the African continent.

Author: Rob Davies is former South African Minister of Trade and Industry.


Analytical Note, September 2013

The EU-CARIFORUM EPA: Regulatory and Policy Changes and Lessons for Other ACP Countries

This note assesses the state of play of EPA implementation in the CARIFORUM region. It shows that the regulatory, legislative and policy changes necessary for EPA implementation in the areas of trade in goods and services are at varying stages of implementation among member states, with many countries being very far from fully implementing the agreement. (more…)

Research Paper 30, May 2010

Analysis of the Doha Negotiations and the Functioning Of the World Trade Organization.

This paper discusses the principles and scope of activities of the world trade organization, addresses the imbalances in the existing rules and the problems faced by developing countries. Then it elaborated on various specific issues such as, the “Singapore issues”, labour and environmental standards, the “development issues”, market access negotiations and, at last, its functioning in decision-making system.


Research Paper 10, November 2006

Market Power, Price Formation and Primary Commodities.

There has been widespread concern for many years over the very abstract nature of orthodox economic theory, especially that of the neo-classical school which has dominated the profession since the late 19th century. Such disquiet is frequently felt among non-economists, but a great many dissident economists have also expressed their disquiet over the years. (more…)

Analytical Note, September 2004

From Doha to the July 2004 Framework Package.

On 31 July 2004, the WTO General Council decided to establish a framework for continued negotiations under the Doha Work Programme set out in the Doha Ministerial Declaration (DMD, WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1) of 2001. This note seeks to present a content analysis of the WTO General Council Decision of 31 July 2004 (WT/GC/W/535). (more…)

Analytical Note, November 2003

The Legality of Creating Plurilateral Agreements Within the WTO for Singapore Issues.

This note seeks to assess whether it is actually legal, under the WTO Agreement, for WTO Members to undertake and conclude negotiations for plurilateral agreements in the WTO vis-a-vis the Singapore issues. (more…)

Analytical Note, November 2003

The Post-Cancun Legal Status of Singapore Issues in the WTO.

This note is intended to provide readers with an analysis of the current legal status of the Singapore issues mandate established during the 1996 Singapore Ministerial Conference and extended up to the 2003 Cancun Ministerial Conference by the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference. (more…)

Analytical Note, July 2003

Technical Assistance in the Area of Trade and Investment.

The Doha Ministerial Declaration (DMD) confirms the understanding among members that adequate, demand driven and recipient-controlled technical cooperation and capacity building constitute a core element of the development dimension of the multilateral trading system. (more…)


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