Henri Joel NKUEPO is a doctoral student in International Essrecht (University of the Western Cape – Cap) and a research fellow at the Human Rights Commission of South Africa. His research focuses on the regulation of natural resource trade, the protection of human rights, the environment and the protection of foreign direct investment in natural resources. However, it should not be understood that trade between developing countries is not encouraged. My point is that these countries need to put their development goals above their regional commitments. Developing countries need machinery, foreign direct investment (FI) for the exploitation and transformation of their natural resources. I do not see how another developing country will help in this case. Developing countries should negotiate trade agreements with developed countries capable of investing in the exploitation and transformation of the developing country. The WTO can help secure an agreement on trade in natural resources that protects investors, human rights and the environment and deter heads of state and government in developing countries from transforming the principle of sustainable sovereignty over natural resources into the principle of personal sovereignty over natural resources. This would allow the organization to establish a fair trade in natural resources, which means that natural resources should not be purchased from countries where heads of state and government are corrupt. ATPs between developing and industrialized countries could contribute to the implementation of these measures. Since the beginning of the 20th century, several hundred bilateral THPs have been signed. The Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy`s TREND project[6] lists approximately 700 trade agreements, the vast majority of which are bilateral. [7] Given the recent proliferation of bilateral TTPs and the emergence of mega-PTAs (broad regional trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) or the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a global trading system managed exclusively under the WTO now seems unrealistic and interactions between trade systems must be taken into account.

The increasing complexity of the international trading system resulting from the proliferation of EPZs should be taken into account when considering the choice of countries or regions used by countries or regions to promote their trade relations and environmental agendas. [2] ATPs have grown rapidly; In the 1990s, there were just over 100 PTAs. In 2014, there were more than 700. [3] These tariff preferences have created many discrepancies with the principle of normal trade relations, namely that members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should apply the same tariff to imports from other WTO members. [1] It is clear from this definition that the current formulation of the provisions of the PTA in the WTO system is not only an exception to a trade principle (MFN), but rather runs counter to the fundamental principles of the organization and that the PTA rules appear to be superior to those of the WTO.