Developing-Country Trade-Related Institutions
As progress is being made by many developing countries to introduce more liberal trade policies, increasing attention is being paid to the capacity of their institutions to implement such policies and support their fuller integration into world trade. This increased emphasis on institutions partly reflects a more general shift in priorities in development thinking and practice. It also reflects specific concerns about the increased burdens placed on developing-country institutions by their commitments under the Uruguay Round agreements.
There are several kinds of institution whose operations affect developing countries' participation in world trade and the WTO. First, there are various institutions that are generally linked to the operation of a market economy – such as the banking system, accounting services and contract enforcement – but which also have a bearing on trade. Second, there are institutions that are more narrowly focused on international trade links, some of which may be related to exports and others to imports, for example export/import finance and insurance, and marketing. Third, there are governmental institutions that are specifically charted with the design and implementation of trade policy, including the Ministry of Trade and the customs administration body, and some, such as those dealing with standards or intellectual property rights, that were previously perceived as domestic in nature but have become ‘internationalized’ under the Uruguay Round agreements. In addition, of course, developing-country participation in international trade depends on the supply and quality of key inputs, such as those for transport and telecommunication, as well as the availability of a broad range of specialized human skills.