Background to the Project
As the World Trade Organization enters a period of adjustment after the Bali package negotiated in December 2013, which included a new trade facilitation accord, there is a need to search for new ideas that can assist in revitalising multilateral trade negotiations. These negotiations must face numerous established challenges, while also adapting to emerging trends in global trade. The continued importance of Global Value Chains, for example, could increase the benefits associated with further integration of the world economy, while at the same time challenging those marginal to them. Many countries also have to adapt to the rise of mega-regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), such as the Transpacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which threaten to distract the advanced economies from participation in WTO negotiations and institutions.
This World Bank-funded project, initiated by the Cordell Hull Institute and coordinated by the South African Institute of International Affairs in partnership with a network of primarily developing-world think tanks, aims to examine what these changes mean for global trade, and how negotiations can be realigned to overcome new and established challenges. A series of expert roundtables has been - and will be - convened in major emerging economies, and has produced a number of publications that will feed into multilateral trade negotiations.
After the three successful roundtables hosted in South Korea, Brazil and South Africa, the project is now moving into its second phase, which will focus primarily on dissemination activities and further developing the ideas from the first year. This will be through a process of both dissemination events and other discussion roundtables. The second phase will kick off with a dissemination and discussion event that will be held on the margins of the WTO Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2014. For information on other events and roundtables, please see below.
- Centre for Policy Dialogue (Dhaka)
- China Center for International Development (Tianjin)
- Cordell Hull Institute (Washington DC)
- Fundação Getulio Vargas (Sao Paolo)
- Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Brasilia)
- Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (Seoul)
- South African Institute for International Affairs (Johannesburg)
- Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (New Delhi)
- The European University Institute, Global Governance Programme
Media articles and Opinion pieces
- SA urged to adapt policies to fit new global trade environment, Engineering News, 13 June 2014 (article based on Roundtable 11-12 June 2014)
- Is there any way to break the Doha Round impasse in agriculture negotiations? The TradeBeat, 26 August 2014
- In Agriculture, It Is Time To Act With Plurilaterals, The TradeBeat, 25 September 2014
- Members only: Embracing diversity in the WTO, VoxEU, 16 September 2014
- How should the G-20 act to improve global trade governance?, VoxEU, 24 September 2014
Photos from the Public Forum on 'A Review of South Africa’s Trade Strategy in Light of Global Developments' on 25 March 2014 in Pretoria.
Moving forward in the WTO post-Bali (1.13 MB)
By Bernard Hoekman
This paper introduces the core issues investigated in the broader project. It reviews the history of multilateral trade co-operation and the state of WTO negotiations, and examines new trends in trade patterns and trade agreements, including the impact of global value chains and the rise of megaregional agreements, such as the Transpacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It investigates what these changes mean for the future of the multilateral trading system, and what changes and new issues must be introduced to reinvigorate global negotiations.
Seoul Roundtable Chairperson’s Statement: Trade co-operation in a multipolar world economy (84.72 kB)
Presented by Dr. Chulsu Kim
This document synthesizes the findings of the Seoul roundtable discussion, hosted by Korean Institute of International Economic Policy (KIEP). It examines the changing structure of world trade, the state of play in WTO negotiations, and how to move forward on multilateral trade co-operation.
- Supply chains, mega-regionals and the WTO: A road map for the WTO (535.05 kB)
By Bernard Hoekman
This presentation was delivered at a range of events in 2014, including those hosted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (19 May 2014), the Cordell Hull Institute, Washington DC (22 April 2014), the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London (19 May 2014) and by SAIIA (11 June 2014).
By the Global Trade and Investment Centre at Getulio Vargas Foundation Getulio Vargas Foundation (CGTI-FGV)
This e-book is a report of the Brazilian roundtable event hosted by CGTI-FGV, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA) and the South African Institute of International Affairs on 14-15 April 2014, containing a summary of the discussions, the text of keynote speeches and the slides used in presentations at the event.
By the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
This is the report of the Roundtable on ‘Restoring Multilateral Trade Co-operation’ held on 11 June 2014 in Johannesburg. As the event was held under the Chatham House Rule, this report only contains the content of the discussions and does not identify the speakers.
Calendar of Events
- 12-14 February 2014: 1st Roundtable, hosted by Korean Institute of International Economic Policy (Seoul, South Korea) [Download Chairman's statement (84.72 kB)]
- 12-13 June 2014: 3rd Roundtable, hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs (Johannesburg, South Africa) [View photos] [Download report of proceedings (PDF, 553.59 kB)]
- 30 September 2014: Closed dissemination event with key stakeholders at the WTO (Geneva, Switzerland)
- 22-24 November 2014: 4th Roundtable, hosted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
- 26 -28 November 2014: Dissemination event (Delhi, India)
Photos from the Roundtable on ‘Restoring Multilateral Trade Co-operation’ addressed by Professor Bernard Hoekman and a panel of international experts on 11 June 2014 in Johannesburg.