After years of sitting on the fence, developing economies became active participants in the multilateral trade negotiations (MTNs) during the Uruguay Round. In particular, the Group-of-twenty-one (G-21) developing economies played a consequential role both at the Fifth Ministerial Conference in Cancún and at the WTO meeting held in Geneva in the last week of July 2004, which put together the framework agreement, or so-called July package. As the Doha Round is intended to be a development round, development concerns form an integral part not only of the Doha Ministerial Declaration but also of the subsequent framework agreement. This article focuses on the initiatives of the developing economies in the Doha Round of MTNs and calibrates their achievements - or lack thereof. It also deals with the role of the large number of small and low-income developing economies in the MTNs. Success in the Doha Round can certainly influence the absolute poor of the world favourably. Empirical estimates have been made about how many people would be lifted out of absolute poverty by a successful conclusion of the Doha Round.


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