Ministerial Decisions and Declarations
DECLARATION ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION TO ACHIEVING GREATER COHERENCE IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC POLICYMAKING
1. Ministers recognize that the globalization of the world economy has led to ever-growing interactions between the economic policies pursued by individual countries, including interactions between the structural, macroeconomic, trade, financial and development aspects of economic policymaking. The task of achieving harmony between these policies falls primarily on governments at the national level, but their coherence internationally is an important and valuable element in increasing the effectiveness of these policies at national level. The Agreements reached in the Uruguay Round show that all the participating governments recognize the contribution that liberal trading policies can make to the healthy growth and development of their own economies and of the world economy as a whole.
2. Successful cooperation in each area of economic policy contributes to progress in other areas. Greater exchange rate stability, based on more orderly underlying economic and financial conditions, should contribute towards the expansion of trade, sustainable growth and development, and the correction of external imbalances. There is also a need for an adequate and timely flow of concessional and non-concessional financial and real investment resources to developing countries and for further efforts to address debt problems, to help ensure economic growth and development. Trade liberalization forms an increasingly important component in the success of the adjustment programmes that many countries are undertaking, often involving significant transitional social costs. In this connection, Ministers note the role of the World Bank and the IMF in supporting adjustment to trade liberalization, including support to net food-importing developing countries facing short-term costs arising from agricultural trade reforms.
3. The positive outcome of the Uruguay Round is a major contribution towards more coherent and complementary international economic policies. The results of the Uruguay Round ensure an expansion of market access to the benefit of all countries, as well as a framework of strengthened multilateral disciplines for trade. They also guarantee that trade policy will be conducted in a more transparent manner and with greater awareness of the benefits for domestic competitiveness of an open trading environment. The strengthened multilateral trading system emerging from the Uruguay Round has the capacity to provide an improved forum for liberalization, to contribute to more effective surveillance, and to ensure strict observance of multilaterally agreed rules and disciplines. These improvements mean that trade policy can in the future play a more substantial role in ensuring the coherence of global economic policymaking.
4. Ministers recognize, however, that difficulties the origins of which lie outside the trade field cannot be redressed through measures taken in the trade field alone. This underscores the importance of efforts to improve other elements of global economic policymaking to complement the effective implementation of the results achieved in the Uruguay Round.
5. The interlinkages between the different aspects of economic policy require that the international institutions with responsibilities in each of these areas follow consistent and mutually supportive policies. The World Trade Organization should therefore pursue and develop cooperation with the international organizations responsible for monetary and financial matters, while respecting the mandate, the confidentiality requirements and the necessary autonomy in decision-making procedures of each institution, and avoiding the imposition on governments of cross-conditionality or additional conditions. Ministers further invite the Director-General of the WTO to review with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the President of the World Bank, the implications of the WTO's responsibilities for its cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as the forms such cooperation might take, with a view to achieving greater coherence in global economic policymaking.