"The fourth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference was held in Doha on the 9-14 November 2001 to discuss a number of key trade issues. The meeting marked a major turning point for the world trading system, after the collapse of the previous conference in Seattle in 1999. A failure to reach a consensus at this meeting would have led many to question the value of the WTO as forum for trade negotiations. At the end of the meeting, ministers from 142 WTO member countries launched a new round of trade negotiations. This round is set to conclude by 2005. Developing countries are very hopeful that they will reap greater benefits from this round, compared to previous rounds. With more hard work, Botswana could reap substantial benefits too. The challenge would be not to lag behind in addressing key issues and to be at the forefront of the negotiations. Whether the country is poised to master such a challenge will depend on joint efforts by policy analysts, the private sector and policy-makers."