- Singapore issues
The "Singapore issues" refers to four working groups set up during the
World Trade OrganizationMinisterial Conference of 1996 in Singapore. These groups are tasked with these issues: transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation(customs issues), tradeand investment, and tradeand competition. This issues were pushed at successive Ministerials by the European Union, Japan and Korea, and opposed by most developing countries. The United States was lukewarm about the inclusion of these issues, indicating that it could accept some or all of them at various times, but preferring to focus on market access.Cite web
publisher = Congressional Research Service
last = Fergusson
first = Ian F.
title = World Trade Organization Negotiations: The Doha Development Agenda
accessdate = 2008-07-26
date = 2008-01-18
url = http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RL32060.pdf] cite news|url=http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_NDGVSNP|title=Tequila sunset in Cancún|date=2003-9-17|publisher=
The Economist|accessdate=2008-08-03] Disagreements between largely developed and developing economies prevented a resolution in these issues, despite repeated attempts to revisit them, notably during the 2003 Ministerial Conference in Cancún, Mexico, whereby no progress was made.
Since, some progress has been achieved in the area of
trade facilitation. In July 2004, WTO Members formally agreed to launch negotiations. Under the mandate of the so-called “July package”, Members are directed to clarify and improve GATT Article V (Freedom of Transit), Article VIII (Fees and Formalities connected with Importation and Exportation), and Article X (Publication and Administration of Trade Regulations). The negotiations also aim to enhance technical assistance and capacity building in this area and to improve effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitationand customs compliance issues.
To date, Members have submitted a great number of proposals under the mandate which provide the basis for the on-going negotiations. The negotiations should be completed under the overall
Doha Development Agendatimeline.
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