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The Global System of Trade Preferences Among Developing Countries

Text of the GSTP AgreementThe road to the GSTP began in Mexico City in 1976 when the Group of 77 first articulated the establishment of a global system of trade preferences among developing countries. In Arusha and Caracas, the Group formulated the principles that underpin the GSTP today. Following a decision taken in New York in 1982, work on a framework agreement proceeded in Geneva. Ministerial meetings in New Delhi in 1985 and in Brasilia in 1986 led to the elaboration of the text of an agreement and the beginning of the First Round of negotiations. Finally, in Belgrade in 1988, developing countries that participated in the negotiations adopted the text of the Agreement on the Global System of Trade Preferences Among Developing Countries. The following year, the Agreement entered into force.

Since 1990, the GSTP Project --- a technical cooperation agreement between the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and the GSTP Committee of Participants --- has extended technical and administative support to the GSTP.

The Committee of Participants

Ambassador Badr of EgyptThe Committee of Participants supervises the implementation and administration of the Agreement and performs such functions as may be necessary to facilitate the operation and further the objectives of the Agreement. The GSTP Project extends technical and administrative support to the Committee as per a technical cooperation agreement with the Secretary-General of UNCTAD in 1990.

In April 2010, the Committee elected Ambassador Hisham Moustafa Badr (Egypt) President, succeeding Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani of Indonesia. The bureau of the Committee consists of a President and two Vice-Presidents. Under the rules of procedure of the Committee, the principle of rotation and equitable geographical distribution shall as far as practicable be observed. Ambassador Federico Alberto Gonzales Franco, Permanent Representative of Paraguay, is the Vice-President from Latin America. 

Ambassador Badr is the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, the Conference on Disarmament and the World Trade Organization. He has extensive experience in diplomacy, having occupied positions of high responsibility, such as Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief of Staff of the Cabinet of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. His academic career and education are equally distinguished, with two masters degrees and a bachelor of political science degree, all with summa cum laude honors.

Rounds of Negotiations Accession to the GSTP

The first round of negotiations was launched in Brasilia in 1986 and concluded in Belgrade in 1988. To expand the scope and depth of tariff concessions, a second round was launched in Tehran in 1992. The negotiations were concluded in 1998 but the results thereof were not confirmed. To reinvigorate the Agreement, the Committee of Participants launched the Sao Paulo Round of negotiations in 2004, expected to be concluded by the end of 2010. Ambassador Alberto Dumont of Argentina chairs the Negotiating Committee of the Sao Paulo Round.

Morocco, Myanmar, Colombia, Venezuela and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) became parties to the Agreement through accession. As of writing, there are 43 participants to the Agreement.

Least Developed Countries Parties to the GSTP Agreement

Text of the GSTP Agreement Tariff Concessions     
Declarations and Decisions Studies and Articles
Directory of Participants Rules of Origin
The GSTP Project of the Trade Division of the Unctad secretrait has been responsible for extending substantive and administrative assistance to the GSTP Committee of Particiants and other GSTP bodies.

Under a technical cooperation arrangement between the UNCTAD secretariat and the GSTP Committee of Participants signed in 1990, the GSTP Project of the Division on International Trade renders substantive and administrative support to the Committee, the statutory body established under the GSTP Agreement to perform such functions as may be necessary to facilitate the operation and further the objective of the Agreement. 

 


Last updated: 8 August 2011 12:12