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China got the ‘developing country’ at WTO

  • Published
    15th Jan, 2022


  • It has become a contentious issue with a number of countries raising concerns over the upper middle-income nation deriving benefits reserved for developing countries under WTO norms.
  • The World Bank assigns the world’s economies to four income groups—
    • low
    • lower-middle
    • upper-middle
    • high-income countries
  • The classifications are updated each year and are based on Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in current USD of the previous year.
  • India is classified as a lower-middle-income country while China is classified as an upper-middle-income country.

About Developing Country Status (WTO)

  • The WTO has not defined ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries and therefore member countries are free to announce whether they are ‘developed’ or ‘developing’.
  • However, other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries.
  • The WTO lacks a proper definition of a developing nation although two-thirds of its 164 members classify themselves as developing.
  • The classification also allows other countries to offer preferential treatment like the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
  • Certain WTO agreements give developing countries special rights through ‘special and differential treatment’ (S&DT) provisions, which can grant developing countries longer timeframes to implement the agreements and even commitments to raise trading opportunities for such countries.
  • WTO pacts are often aimed at reduction in government support to certain industries over time and set more lenient targets for developing nations and grant them more time to achieve these targets compared to developed ones.

What is economic inequality? How are countries categorized as developed and developing economies?


  • Introduction- Brief about economic inequality
  • Discuss main point of difference between developing nations and developed nations
  • Economic status of India
  • Conclusion
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