On December 15, at 12:00 Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club hosted an online discussion, titled “WTO Reform: Can the Organisation Restore Its Clout?”
The talk of expanding trade cooperation comes amid active unilateral intervention policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Global Trade Alert, a new policy intervention that affected cross-border commerce was introduced every 3.5 hours worldwide this year.
The pandemic is an excellent example of the type of shock that the governments and the WTO must respond to. That shock interacts with the underlying shifts taking place in the world economy. Over the years, the negotiation process within the WTO has slowed down, which affected the quality and pace of decision-making, including the pandemic period. It remains unclear whether the organisation is able to become an integral part of the emerging architecture of the global economy and retain its status as the main regulator of the world trade.
How efficient is the WTO during the current crisis? How does the current set of WTO rules correspond to modern realities? What institutional and substantive reforms are needed by the WTO? The participants in the expert discussion answered these and other questions.
Simon Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development, University of St. Gallen
Dmitry Lyakishev, Permanent Representative of Russia to the WTO
Ekaterina Mayorova, Director of the Trade Negotiations Department of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development
Yaroslav Lissovolik, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.