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Trade and Development: The Global Dialogue

This fourth edition contains:

    • Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries ed. by A. Aksoy and J. Beghin
    • Customs Modernization Handbook ed. by L. de Wulf and J. Sokol
    • Food Safety and Agricultural Health Requirements: Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Country Exports (available electronically only)
    • Trade Note #20: “Tightening TRIPS: The Intellectual Property Provisions of Recent U.S. Free Trade Agreements” by C. Fink and P. Reinchenmiller
    • May 23-25, 2005: Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics—ABCDE in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • January 22-26, 2005: Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics—ABCDE in Dakar, Senegal
    • Parliamentarian Network of the World Bank (PNoWB): Update on the Working Group on Trade

New Publications
Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries ed. A. Aksoy and J. Beghin
On January 11, the World Bank officially launched this new publication at a press conference in Washington D.C., followed by a series of technical seminars in Brussels, Copenhagen, Geneva, Oslo, Paris, Rome, and Stockholm.  The book looks at outstanding issues in global agricultural trade policy and evolving world trade production and trade patterns.  Its covers topics ranging from the details of cross-cutting policy issues to the highly distorted agricultural trade regimes of industrial countries and detailed studies of agricultural commodities of economic importance to many developing countries.  For ordering information and background material from the press launch (powerpoint presentation and transcript) and to download the book in its entirety, please visit

Customs Modernization Handbook ed. L. de Wulf and J. Sokol
As trade facilitation negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) enter a new phase, on February 8 the World Bank released this book in Geneva to provide policy makers and practitioners with the necessary tools for undertaking the critical process of customs reform and modernization.  The handbook on customs modernization is designed to help countries benefit from trade facilitation.  The costs of transporting developing country exports to foreign markets are often a greater hindrance to trade than are tariffs, and trade-related transaction costs such as freight charges and other logistical expenses are a crucial determinant of a country’s ability to participate in the global economy.  Purchase / Download the book.

Food Safety and Agricultural Health Requirements: Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Country Exports
The report was officially launched in Washington D.C. on February 2. The report is a joint product of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Trade Unit and the Agriculture and Rural Development Department. It characterizes the emerging standards as a 'double edged sword'-- presenting opportunities for growth and innovation to countries and suppliers that respond strategically and proactively, while posing commercial risks and the prospect of lost market access for those countries and suppliers which are unable or disinclined to upgrade their SPS management capacities. The report examines the evolving environment of international agro-food standards, developing country responses and strategies, the costs and benefits associated with these responses, and the implications of these findings for development assistance in this field. The overall message is a positive one--emphasizing the potentially catalytic role of standards, the strategic room for maneuver for developing countries and the gains, which can be achieved through more effective capacity-building assistance.  To learn more about this area of research and to download the report and other background material, including numerous case studies, please visit the research standards website.

New Trade Note:
“Tightening TRIPS: The Intellectual Property Provisions of Recent US Free Trade Agreements” by C. Fink and P. Reinchenmiller
This Trade Note offers an overview of the intellectual property dimension of recent US Free Trade Agreements.  In particular, it describes to what extent obligations on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) embedded in these agreements go beyond multilateral IPRs standards established under the TRIPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The Trade Note also offers a perspective on the intellectual property bargain in trade agreements, outlines key economic and social implications from the adoption of new intellectual property standards, and discusses lessons learned.  To download this and other Trade Notes please visit:

On May 23-25 the World Bank will hold its Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  This year’s conference, cosponsored by the Netherlands’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance and in partnership with the World Bank, will bring together academics, researchers, civil society, policy makers and private sector representatives worldwide to engage in a discussion on global development issues.  The focus will be on key themes of the “Development Year” 2005, including harmonization, Africa, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and peace and development. A particular emphasis will be placed on the role of the private sector in promoting growth and development with several private sector-themed workshops and a high-level roundtable on ‘Private Sector Development: Reducing Administrative Burden’. For additional information, please visit (available on March 1st)

For the record...
On January 22-26 the World Bank held its Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE 2005) in Dakar, Senegal. The conference brought together top policy makers, researchers, and academics from throughout the world to discuss cutting edge research on topics that are central to development. This year’s theme was on “Growth and Integration” and featured sessions on Financial Reforms, Economic Development, Trade and Development and Investment Climate.  To take a look at the agenda, list of participants and list of papers presented at the seminar, please visit the ABCDE website.

The Parliamentarian Network on the World Bank (PNoWB) has organized a Working Group on Trade under the chairmanship of Mr. Hugh Bayley, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom, to discuss some of the key issues on the "trade and development" agenda.  Special attention is being given to the ongoing negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda.  Two video-conferences have been organized focusing on agricultural trade (February 21st) and trade in services (February 28th), bringing together parliamentarians from Brazil, India, Japan, Kenya, The Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom.  Carlos Braga, Senior Adviser, International Trade Department, World Bank, is participating in these events, briefing parliamentarians on the status of the negotiations. 

Parliamentarians, in turn, use this opportunity to analyze the negotiating positions of their countries and to exchange views on how Parliaments can contribute to more effective trade policies. Visit the PNoWB site for general information and the Working Group on Trade site for more specific information.


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