Date and Time: Wednesday 4th December 2013 ~~~ 14:30 – 16:00
Location: Orchid Room
Theme: Trade and Economic Development


SAIIA updated

Session Objectives

• To explore the views of BRICS countries on shifts in the multilateral trading system.
• To question if the BRICS share common values that could be pursued in order to strengthen the WTO.


With the Doha round in the doldrums; the global economic system still recovering from the worst financial crisis in living memory; and trade liberalization lacking any obvious champions, the world trading system requires new leadership if it is not to slide into irrelevance. The industrialized world is seemingly unable to provide such leadership in the WTO system, and is consequently looking elsewhere, to mega regionals such as the TTIP and TPP in particular. The BRICS nations, now meeting as a group, have at times propelled the Doha round forwards and at other times have held it back. They have yet to formulate coherent responses to the emergence of mega-regionals domestically, and have not yet forged a strategic response in the WTO. So how should they respond? Is a BRICS response even conceivable? And can the BRICS provide the necessary leadership to the WTO to reenergize the system and re-establish its centrality to the global trading system?