The Millennium Round and the Asian Economies: An Introduction

Publication | November 1999

This paper discusses benefits that Asian economies can derive from a broader Millennium Round of discussions and explores issues beyond agriculture and services that can be addressed.

The ninth Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTNs) is to be launched at the end of November 1999 in Seattle. It is essential for the Asian economies, particularly those that are known to be successful exporters, to participate in this Round skillfully because what transpires in the Round will have an enormous impact on the trade performance of these economies during the 21st century. Past experiences confirm that MTNs are an exceedingly complex affair. To complete these negotiations in a mutually profitable manner, there is an imperious need to have an agenda having something of value to all participants.

A mandate existed for negotiations on trade in agricultural products and services- the so called built-in agenda of the Uruguay Round. Other than this, a whole range of old and new issues is also open for negotiations. Besides, work was in progress in four areas in various Would Trade organization committees, which is sure to be taken up during the current Round. The width and depth of these issues provide the current Round with a wide scope. The author provides a succinct analysis of these negotiating points.


  • Foreword
  • Background
  • Crafting the Millennium Round Agenda
  • Possible Range of Issues
    • Built-in Agenda
    • Other Important Issues Open for Negotiations
    • Current Issues
    • Peripheral Issues
    • Speculated Issues
  • Progress in Preparing the Agenda
  • References

Additional Details

  • Poverty

Subscribe to our monthly digest of latest ADB publications.

Follow ADB Publications on social media.