WTO Doha Development Agenda
As the world's main exproter of goods and services and the largest investor abroad, the European Union has always been one fo the biggest beneficiaries and hence supporters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and of its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tarrifs and Trade (GATT).
Given the EU's prominent role in international trade [138 KB] , improving trading opportunities for manufactured goods can help strengthen the competitiveness of EU industry.
Under the umbrella of the WTO, the rules and conditions governing world trade are currently being reviewed in a round of multilateral trade negotiations that involves all WTO members (currently 153 countries).
This so-called Doha Development Agenda (DDA), named after the Qatari capital where it was launched in 2001, aims at facilitating trade between nations by further opening of markets worldwide as well as at new rule-making. The subjects covered include agricultural as well as industrial goods and services.
DG Enterprise and Industry supports the negotiations with a view to improving market access for EU industrial products, in particular in emerging economies. As market access is not only determined by prevailing tariffs on imports but also by less visible barriers to trade that lie "behind the borders" - arising from differences in technical regulations, standards or other legal obligations - a number of proposals to tackle these "non-tariff barriers" have been developed and tabled in the DDA.
Negotiations are currently on-going.