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THE TRADE BEAT IS A PROJECT OF
THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
saiialogo1
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 15:39

Restoring Multilateral Trade Co-operation Featured

Written by  SAIIA
The headquarters of the World Trade Organization, where major multilateral trade negotiations take place. The current Round of negotiations, the Doha Round, has been deadlocked for more than a decade. The headquarters of the World Trade Organization, where major multilateral trade negotiations take place. The current Round of negotiations, the Doha Round, has been deadlocked for more than a decade. Photo © Jay Louvion, Studio Casagrande

A new project, coordinated by the South African Institute of International Affairs, is exploring how multilateral trade negotiations can be revitalised to overcome both existing and emerging challenges.

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.

Partners

Media articles and Opinion pieces

 

PublicForum3  PublicForum1  PublicForum2

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.

Publications

  • icon 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.

  • icon 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.

  • icon 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).
  • icon Report on the proceedings of the South African Roundtable (553.59 kB)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

  • 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)

 

Rountable4  Rountable3  Rountable2

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.


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