Doha Development Agenda
The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations — also known as the Doha Development Agenda — was launched by WTO members meeting at Ministerial level in Doha (2001). Its aim is to further liberalise trade and, in particular, to help least-developed countries integrate into the multilateral trading system.
In Bali (2013), the main outcome agreed by Ministers was the Trade Facilitation Agreement. WTO members also agreed on a series of Doha agriculture and development issues.
In Nairobi (2015), WTO Ministers agreed on the elimination of export subsidies for agriculture and the introduction of new rules for similar measures, which also significantly distort international trade and disrupt local markets.
They also agreed on a set of important decisions to address certain demands of the least-developed WTO members, including:
- simplifying the conditions that exporters from the poorest countries must meet for their products to benefit from trade agreements (so-called rules of origin);
- giving more opportunities for businesses from the poorest countries to provide services in the WTO's 164 member countries;
- facilitating the integration of least-developed countries' cotton producers in global trade.
Information Technology Agreement
At the WTO’s Singapore Ministerial Conference in 1996, 29 members signed the Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products, establishing the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The ITA eliminates import duties on Information Communication Technology (ICT) products like personal computers and mobile phones.
Due to the rapid expansion of technology in recent years, a new ITA agreement was signed at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015, adding more than 200 ICT products to the duty free list.
This deal, initiated by the EU, extends the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA) to cover €1.3 trillion in global trade. It is the biggest tariff-cutting deal in the WTO in almost two decades.
Today, the number of signatories stands at 82, covering approximately 97 % of world trade in ICT products.
The Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA)
Since July 2014, the EU and 16 other WTO members have been negotiating the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA). The aim is to remove barriers to trade in green goods like solar panels and recycling machinery. EGA is important, as these products are key for curbing climate change and protecting the environment.
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a trade agreement being negotiated by 23 members of the WTO, including the EU. Together, the participating countries make up 70 % of world trade in services. Negotiations started in March 2013.