The Voice of Business

The Future of the WTO: How to Rekindle the Interest of the Private Sector

15 December
08:30 - 10:00


TDS LIVE | The Future of the WTO: How to Rekindle the Interest of the Private Sector

Session objectives 

The year China acceded to the WTO (2001) is the same year the Doha Development Agenda (DDA, the first round of multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO era, after the 8 rounds conducted under the GATT) was launched. Fourteen years later negotiations are still ongoing, but in spite of some progress at the Bali Ministerial in 2013, the conclusion of the negotiations remains a distant goal. The private sector seems increasingly frustrated with the multilateral trade system. There is a general perception that WTO disciplines and modus operandi are outdated and cannot keep pace with globalization. The seminar will discuss the new realities of the process of economic globalization, the dangers of economic “balkanization” (e.g., preferential trade agreements versus multilateral solutions) and how best to rekindle the interest of the private sector in the WTO.


  • Professor and Director, The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute
  • Senior Economist, HSBC
  • Director, The Evian [email protected]
  • Chief Executive Officer, The Institute of Economic Affairs, Kenya
  • Deputy Secretary General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Executive Director, Department of Policy and Business Practices, International Chamber of Commerce