Davos Annual Meeting 2005 - WTO's tenth Birthday | Summary and Q&A

August 30, 2007
World Economic Forum
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Davos Annual Meeting 2005 - WTO's tenth Birthday


WTO's success celebrated while facing challenges, advocating for multilateral trade amidst bilateral agreements.

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Key Insights

  • ™️ Successes of the WTO include reducing trade barriers and promoting international trade.
  • 🪡 Challenges include the impact of bilateral agreements on multilateral trade efforts and the need for a balance between developed and developing countries' interests.
  • ™️ The WTO must address concerns about social dimensions of trade, engage with civil society organizations, and promote fair and sustainable trade practices.

Questions & Answers

Q: How has the WTO addressed challenges in agricultural trade liberalization, and what role does it play in developing countries' economic growth?

The WTO has made progress in reducing export subsidies and facing out domestic support in agriculture but faces challenges. Developing countries look to the WTO to level the playing field and support their economic development.

Q: What impact do bilateral trade agreements have on the effectiveness of multilateral agreements like the WTO, and how can the WTO ensure coherence in global trade policies?

Bilateral agreements have been seen as both complementary and contradictory to the goals of the WTO. Ensuring coherence in global trade policies requires the WTO to consider specific needs of economies while advocating for multilateral trade agreements.

Q: How can the WTO better engage with civil society organizations to address concerns about the social dimensions of trade and promote fair trade practices?

The WTO must engage in constructive dialogue with NGOs to address social concerns and promote fair trade practices. Transparency, fairness, and sustainability should guide trade policies to ensure benefits reach all stakeholders.

Q: In what ways can the WTO enhance its focus on services liberalization and standards in the context of international trade?

The WTO must prioritize services liberalization and standardization while considering the needs of developing and developed countries. Encouraging participation in international standards development can facilitate trade and economic growth.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The panel reflects on the success and challenges of the WTO over its 10-year history, emphasizing the need for continued trade liberalization efforts.

  • Key points include recognition of past achievements like the reduction of trade barriers and the need for future advancements in areas like services liberalization.

  • Despite past successes, there are concerns about the proliferation of bilateral agreements and the need to ensure fairness and sustainable development in international trade.

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