Date and Time: Wednesday 4th December 2013 ~~~ 16:30 – 18:00
Location: Hibiscus Room
Theme: International Trade Governance and Sustainable Development

Background material:

ARTNeT working paper :

Re-thinking economic development in the WTO, Bernard Hoekman :


ARTneT logo                 ESCAP logo

Session Objectives

• To open a dialogue on the direction for global trade rules reform (within WTO) necessary to promote trade contributing to inclusive, sustainable and resilient development
• To present UNESCAP work on “inclusive trade and investment”
• To give an opportunity for ARTNeT associated researchers / institutions to network globally


After the 12+ years of negotiating Doha Round experience, it is clear that there is a need to bring the global trade system more fully into the twenty-first century and development realm if trade is to be reckoned as a source of inclusive and sustainable prosperity. One of the principal challenges for the global trade system is to adjust to new realities in order to achieve its goals in an increasingly uncertain and vulnerable global environment, both in terms of social and environmental sustainability. The purpose of this session is to explore why the WTO, designed at the end of 20th century, has not been able to achieve its goals with respect to linking trade and development and to provide possible solutions.

The speakers will address the impacts of RIO+20, ending of MDGs and promotion of SDGs, rise of new economic powers, and other changes in the global environment on countries ability to use trade as an engine of inclusive and sustainable development.

This session will be a moderated panel à la Davos style. The speakers are invited to be frank and to speak freely without using PPT so as to stimulate questions and audience participation. The speakers will reflect on issues relating to inter alia the following:
• Lessons from WTO-led multilateral process and how can we use it to move on
• Is it possible for the WTO to better participate in addressing world problems and improving global governance?
• Should emerging Asian trading powers (in BRICS) assume larger role in multilateral trading system, and how will that benefit developing countries, and in particular least-developed ones?
• If there is no progress on the formulation of new disciplines, will WTO be able to retain its authority in dispute settlements?