In the context of ever increasing competition in the global arena, formulation and implementation of policy to promote the interests of the developing countries is essential, failure to which these nations will be obscured by their developed competitors. Whereas a small but increasingly influential group of developing countries is emerging among the biggest world traders, and have challenged the developed countries both in competitiveness and in trade policy negotiations, many remain too poor and weak to compete fairly on their own.
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One way of promoting the interests of developing countries would be to increase their influence in the world trade stage. The World Trade Organization has provided the main forum for participation in world trade for developed and developing countries. However representation in the WTO is ill balanced. It is observed that there is " ...a larger group of primarily smaller and lower income developing countries ... for which effective representation is still a serious problem" (Michalopoulos, 1998). To address this glaring problem, it is recommendable that the missions to the Geneva from the developing countries be well staffed to ensure proper representation of their interests.
In addition, differential treatment can be given to developing countries to increase their economic policy latitude, for instance regarding labour standards. Barry and Reddy: 2006) offer that the "the rules for international trade can be redesigned to diminish the costs to poorer countries of promoting labour standards in two primary ways: poorer countries that make efforts to promote labour standards can be offered trading concessions (additional access to export markets in rich countries); and rich countries can be required to provide financial transfers to poorer countries that promote labour standards." This special treatment must be aimed at integrating the poor countries into the international trade systems, hence it should be short term.
Another avenue to promoting the developing countries would be to consider reduction of tariffs. Xu and Weller (2004. P. 311) offer that "the EU has, as part of its GSP (generalized systems of preferences) scheme, granted the least developed countries tariff- and quota-free access to its market."
Rigby (1993) argues to the effect that the developing nations can also be instrumental in enhancing their place in world trade. According to him these countries should put in place democratic institutions and promote human rights because, "... democratic government will further economic development by increasing demand and productive..." these views are correct considering that democratic governance ensures political stability; hence increase prospects for foreign investment. The developed countries will then extend fairer terms of trade to protect their investors in the poor countries.
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