Small economies and their development in the Multilateral Trade System: correlation between economic and political environment and trade performance of small economies
Thierry, Galani Tiemeni
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At the heart of this study is the topic of small economies in the Multilateral Trade System (MTS). The study examines the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) legal framework and policy objectives in order to develop a comprehensive definition of small economies as a group of WTO members with specific needs. Particular attention is given to the determination of the specific characteristics of small economies, as well as the issues and constraints they are facing in the MTS. The study explores solutions proposed in order to tackle the constraints to the effective integration of small economies in the MTS, with specific reference to the policy reasoning of small economies. More importantly, the study explores the impact of the size factor, which is certainly not only a burden on the growth and development perspectives of the considered entity, but which may also become an advantage and promotes the trade performance of a small economy. Hypotheses are then made relating to the relevance of the economic and political environments in the determination of a successful (or not) integration, and participation, of a small economy in the MTS. A crucial argument developed is that the differences observed between countries sharing similar characteristics of smallness, vulnerability and remoteness/landlockedness, illustrates the fact that what ultimately matters is the interplay of factors related to the economic and political environments, the effect of which is to promote or constrain (depending on the case) successful integration of the small economy in the MTS.
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