Past Event

The future of trade multilateralism – Governance of 21st century trade and the role of the WTO

A new era for global trade appears to be emerging. The rise of multi-polarity has revived global interest in trade regionalism in this decade, in particular in the industrialised world that has lost patience with the long-drawn Doha Round of WTO negotiations. In a world of finite political focus, infinite trade negotiations appear unsustainable. However, […]

Date: Jul 14 - Topic: Global economy and trade

A new era for global trade appears to be emerging. The rise of multi-polarity has revived global interest in trade regionalism in this decade, in particular in the industrialised world that has lost patience with the long-drawn Doha Round of WTO negotiations. In a world of finite political focus, infinite trade negotiations appear unsustainable. However, with the rise of mega-regional trade agreements, the continued fragmentation of the world trade system will likely more closely resemble a jigsaw puzzle. Even in the best-case scenario where these agreements get concluded as desired, success unfortunately will have merely replaced the spaghetti-bowl mess at the regional levels with one at the global level.

To resolve this, how should the process of global consolidation of the regional agreements occur? What in particular is the future of trade multilateralism, especially in view of the fact that cross-regional link-ups of mega-blocs have no precedent, and WTO system may not be able to manage it well? Finally, what should be the role of emerging market economies in designing the 21st century trade governance, and how should the industrialised countries manage the challenge of integrating emerging markets into the global system? These are some of the questions that the eminent panellists at this workshop will attempt to answer.

Programme download

8:30-9:00 Registration and breakfast

9:00-9:10 Welcome and opening remarks – Guntram Wolff, Director, Bruegel

9:10-9:30 A brief introduction to the issues – Suparna Karmakar, Visiting Fellow, Bruegel

9:30-10:55 Session 1: Wither multilateral negotiations? What to do about the DDA?

  • Chair: André Sapir, Senior Fellow at Bruegel, Professor at ULB

Panellists:

  • Marc Vanheukelen, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Trade, European Union
  • Elena Bryan, Senior Trade Representative at the US Mission to the EU
  • Bernard Hoekman, Director "Global Economics", European University Institute

11:05-12:30 Session 2: Resurgent regionalism: need for recalibration of expectations?

  • Chair: Suparna Karmakar, Visiting Fellow, Bruegel

Panellists:

  • Rohini Acharya, Chief of Section, Regional Trade Agreements, WTO
  • Edouard Bourcieu, Deputy Head of Unit – Trade Strategy, DG TRADE
  • Jim Rollo, University of Sussex

12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:45 Session 3: Designing a forward looking trade governance regime: Role of emerging markets in WTO

  • Chair: Hugo Paemen, Senior Advisor, Hogan Lovells, Brussels

Panellists:

  • Yang Yanyi, H.E. Ambassador of China to the EU
  • Manjeev S. Puri, H.E. Ambassador of India to the EU
  • Mxolisi Nkosi, H.E. Ambassador of South Africa to the EU

15:40-16:00 Wrap up – Andre Sapir, Senior Fellow, Bruegel

Event materials

Speech on the role of emerging markets in WTO by H.E Yang Yanyi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the EU

Presentation by Bernard Hoekman Download

Presentation by Rohini Acharya Download

Practical details

  • Venue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
  • Time: Monday 14 July, 9.00-16.00
  • Contact: Matilda Sevón, Events Manager – [email protected]

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