Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
Decision on Measures in Favour of Least-Developed Countries
Recognizing the plight of the least-developed countries
and the need to ensure their effective participation in the world
trading system, and to take further measures to improve their
Recognizing the specific needs of the least-developed
countries in the area of market access where continued preferential
access remains an essential means for improving their trading
Reaffirming their commitment to implement fully the provisions
concerning the least-developed countries contained in paragraphs
2(d), 6 and 8 of the Decision of 28 November 1979 on Differential
and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation
of Developing Countries;
Having regard to the commitment of the participants as
set out in Section B (vii) of Part I of the Punta del Este Ministerial
1. Decide that, if not already provided for in the instruments
negotiated in the course of the Uruguay Round, notwithstanding
their acceptance of these instruments, the least-developed countries,
and for so long as they remain in that category, while complying
with the general rules set out in the aforesaid instruments, will
only be required to undertake commitments and concessions to the
extent consistent with their individual development, financial
and trade needs, or their administrative and institutional capabilities.
The least-developed countries shall be given additional time of
one year from 15 April 1994 to submit their schedules as required
in Article XI of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.
2. Agree that:
(i) Expeditious implementation of all special and differential
measures taken in favour of least-developed countries including
those taken within the context of the Uruguay Round shall be ensured
through, inter alia, regular reviews.
(ii) To the extent possible, MFN concessions on tariff and non-tariff
measures agreed in the Uruguay Round on products of export interest
to the least-developed countries may be implemented autonomously,
in advance and without staging. Consideration shall be given to
further improve GSP and other schemes for products of particular
export interest to least-developed countries.
(iii) The rules set out in the various agreements and instruments
and the transitional provisions in the Uruguay Round should be
applied in a flexible and supportive manner for the least-developed
countries. To this effect, sympathetic consideration shall be
given to specific and motivated concerns raised by the least-developed
countries in the appropriate Councils and Committees.
(iv) In the application of import relief measures and other measures
referred to in paragraph 3(c) of Article XXXVII of GATT
1947 and the corresponding provision of GATT 1994, special consideration
shall be given to the export interests of least-developed countries.
(v) Least-developed countries shall be accorded substantially
increased technical assistance in the development, strengthening
and diversification of their production and export bases including
those of services, as well as in trade promotion, to enable them
to maximize the benefits from liberalized access to markets.
3. Agree to keep under review the specific needs of the
least-developed countries and to continue to seek the adoption
of positive measures which facilitate the expansion of trading
opportunities in favour of these countries.
Continue on to
Declaration on the Contribution of the World Trade
Organization to Achieving Greater Coherence in Global Economic Policymaking