Over 75 suggested themes for debate were submitted to the Global Dialogue on Trade platform over the past month and discussions have officially started today, kicking off the first-ever digital debate on world trade reform.
The submitted themes have been whittled down into three initial debate questions that now form the structure of the Global Dialogue: (1) How to deal with trade distorting practices? (2) How to take account of the growing importance of e-commerce to global trade? and (3) Flexible multilateralism: What role for plurilaterals and other negotiating tools?
Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce launched the Global Dialogue on Trade at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia on 10 October 2018.
Since the Global Dialogue on Trade was announced last month, momentum has been building around the future of the rules-based multilateral trading system. Government leaders have met regularly in past months to set a roadmap for world trade reform, and several WTO members have already put forward proposals for change.
Recognising the fundamental role that rules-based trade has played in delivering global economic gains for decades, the Global Dialogue on Trade was designed to open up these discussions to a full range of stakeholders, particularly business—the users of the rules-based multilateral trading system.