Sep 9, 1992


Jakarta Sep 6 (Chakravarthi Raghavan) --The 10th Summit of the Non-Aligned Countries has expressed dismay at the failure to conclude the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.

In their Jakarta message and final documents, the NAM leaders have urgently called upon developed countries to ensure without delay 'a balanced equitable and satisfactory conclusion to the Round which takes into account the interests of all parties, especially the development needs and concerns of the developing countries.'

The NAM heads reconfirmed their long-standing conviction that only a free, open rule-based and non-discriminatory international trading system can provide and effective and viable basis for the promotion of the equitable development and economic prosperity of all countries.

They identified 'freer access to developed countries markets as an indispensable means of taking full advantage of international trade', which they viewed as 'the most important vehicle for advancing the economic growth and sustaining the momentum for development of the Non-Aligned and other developing countries.'

In pursuit of these central objectives, they noted, the developing countries have initiated various supportive trade policy measures, including the adoption of unilateral trade liberalisation measures.

The Heads expressed deep concern that the international trading system was currently encountering manifold constraints. Among the most serious was 'the rising tide of imbalances that threatens to submerge the best efforts of the developing countries to advance their development objectives.'

The NAM Heads urged that the results of the Uruguay Round should be 'fully responsive to the special needs of the Non-Aligned and other developing countries and be conducive to the integration of their economies into the mainstream of the world economy.'

In expressing their 'dismay' at the failure to conclude the Round, the NAM heads also expressed their 'deep concern at some of the implications surrounding the new areas' of negotiations, and said that negotiations in these areas should take the interests of the developing countries fully into account. Therefore, they said, 'it sis important that such instruments and concession that are designed to improve the development dimension, such as special and differential treatment, should be strengthened and consolidated.'

In this context, they urged the developed countries to 'avoid aggravating the severe economic difficulties facing the developing countries by pursuing reprehensive trade practices'. This reference, introduced at the insistence of Algeria, was explained by participants in the economic Committee meetings as referring to unilateralism and attempts to open up markets through threats and corruption.

The Heads stressed 'the central importance of development in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.?

'It was equally necessary for the rules of conduct of world trade to take into account the multitude of market imperfections and distortions faced by the developing countries by granting to them additional flexibility in the use of trade policy instruments. The existing rules embodying the concept of special and more favourable treatment needed to be strengthened and extended to new areas of economic policy in which international disciplines are being developed.'

The NAM Heads said they attached 'highest priority to the need for liberalisation of trade in agriculture and called upon the industrialised countries to take effective steps for a substantial reduction in the high levels of protection and subsidization of agriculture.

At the same time, NAM's economic document on trade said, the Heads recognized the fundamental difference between subsidies used in industrialised countries to perpetuate over-production and those used in the developing countries to raise self- sufficiency and protect rural employment.

They also noted that net food producers would face great losses due to the liberalisation of the trade in agriculture and called for financial resources to be provided to these countries to compensate for their losses.

The NAM Heads stressed 'the discriminatory and highly restrictive world trade regime in textiles and clothing created by a major adverse imbalance in the international trading system from the point of view of the developing countries.'

'There was and urgent need to inject in the immediate future a major dose of liberalisation in world trade in clothing and textiles and to fully restore the application of normal rules of free and non-discriminatory trade to the area of textiles and clothing within the shortest period of time.'

The NAM Heads also reiterated the importance of the principles of non-discrimination in the development of the rules of international trade, including on anti-dumping practices. While some progress has been made in the Uruguay Round in the elaboration of various rules relating to the international trade in goods, they felt the anti-dumping measures had the potential to develop into a protectionist tool in the future and said that further work needed to be done in this area.

Unless the rules on anti-dumping were considerably improved with a view to eliminating the protectionist elements in the procedures of some developed importing countries, it would leave a 'major gap' in the results of the Uruguay Round. It was also necessary to reach an agreement on easing export restrictions on high technology goods destined for Non-Aligned and developing countries.

On the issue of Trips, the Heads recognised 'the interest' of industrialised nations in the area, but said they believed that 'setting over-ambitious standards' for protection of intellectual property rights could stifle 'innovation rather than encourage it.'

They further stressed 'the need for taking into account the concerns of developing countries relating to the development of public policy objectives, providing adequate flexibility for the governments of developing countries in designing laws on the protection of intellectual property rights.'

In the area of Services, they urged the industrialised countries to take into account the comparative advantage of developing countries in making their offers of market access. 'Such offers should include the sectors and modes of supply of export interest to developing countries, including through the temporary movement of personnel for the supply of services.

'Negotiations for market access in trade and services must ensure a balanced exchange of concessions in this sector,' they added.