WTO – Singapore Issues

What are Singapore Issues?

Singapore issues are the list of the subject that were tabled by the Western states mainly US and EU in the WTO conference in the year 1996 which held in the Singapore. Some of the major issues among them are :
  • trade and investment,
  • trade and competition policy,
  • transparency in government procurement,
  • trade facilitation ,
  • Labor laws etc.
Why the inclusion of these issues in multilateral talks opposed by developing nations?
  • State owned enterprises :- Develop States Propose to Curtail the Role of the State owned Enterprise(PSUs). But these units are the necessary for the developing states as the private entities do not serve the socio economic need of the society. For Ex. Public Sector Banks in India
  • Labour Issues : Developed state propose uniform Labour Standards for all. Developing nations has comparative advantage in Labour and uniformity here will hamper this advantage.
  • Government procurement – Governments are considered as the largest “Buyer” in the market as they procure nearly 30% of the Total Products. Developed States wants transparency in government procurement so that it becomes easy for MNCs to take part in it. Developing nations see this demand as an attack on their sovereignty and also, it will hamper their PSUs which corner most of government projects ex. DRDO



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