Given their vulnerability to external economic events, small developing countries (SDEs) are particularly cognizant of their place in the world economy. Moreover, given their reliance on international trade for prosperity, SDEs are also concerned about the rules and institutions governing the multilateral trading system. In this paper, the author reviews and evaluates the participation of SDEs in the governance of the multilateral trading system, with a particular focus on the World Trade Organization (WTO). Bernal outlines how SDEs can improve the efficacy of their participation in the WTO’s decision-making process and proposes ways in which the WTO could be adapted to better integrate SDEs in its governance.

  • Ambassador Richard L. Bernal is the alternative executive director for the Caribbean in the Inter-American Development Bank.