Developing Countries in the WTO

By Constantine Michalopoulos | Go to book overview
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Appendix 1: Country Groupings

As noted in Chapter 2, the major international organizations have no formal definition of ‘developing country’. For statistical purposes the World Bank uses a per capita income grouping that does not distinguish between developed and developing countries, and this is used to some extent in this analysis. The WTO has no official breakdown of developed versus developing countries. For operational purposes the designation of ‘developing country’ is based on the principle of self-selection. The breakdown between developed and developing countries used in this analysis roughly follows the breakdown used by the WTO for statistical purposes with a few changes, to be noted below.

In our analysis, developed countries include all members of the European Union, the four EFTA countries (Lichtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the US. This is pretty close to the WTO definition with the exception of South Africa, which the WTO classifies as developed but which we include in the developing-country group. There are no separate trade data for Lichtenstein, so our analysis only uses data on the trade in goods and services of the countries listed above, and excludes intra-EU trade.

Transition economies are the 15 economies that emerged from the former Soviet Union (FSU), plus the nine countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans for which consistent data series are available (Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia), plus Mongolia, making a total of 25. Data on services are not available for the FSU for the whole period, thus the transition total for services excludes these countries.

All remaining countries and territories are designated as developing. For merchandise trade, the analysis uses data for 135 countries: 47 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 33 in Asia, 34 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 21 in the Middle East and Mediterranean. The latter region includes the five North African countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt) and stretches to the east to include Iraq and Iran (but not Afghanistan, which is in Asia). It also includes Israel, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta. Far less service data are available for developing countries. In this case our analysis uses information for 84 countries; 22 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 25 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 23 in Asia and 14 in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

OPEC consists of 11 members: Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The income-level analysis uses the same definition for developed countries as above. Developing and transition economies are grouped into five categories based on the World Bank definition of groupings and per capita income for 1998, except that the LDCs are the 49 countries on the UN list, and are shown as a separate category. As Senegal was added to the LDC list after our analyis had been completed, the LDC totals are based on the other 48 countries. Senegal is included in the low-income countries. Low-income countries are those with a per capita income of less than $760 (except the least developed); lower-middle-income countries have a per capita income of $760–3030, upper-middle-income $3030–9360 and high income $9361 plus.

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