World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy says the WTO is expected to, later this month; revise downwards the prospects for world trade in 2011. At the same time Tuesday, Lamy told an audience in Delhi – the multilateral trading system of the future will have to address a number of global challenges, including – the blurring of the edges between trade policy and others such as exchange rate policies, climate change policies, food security policies or energy policies. Still, the more pressing challenge is to advance the Doha Round.
According to the WTO leader – the multilateral trading system of the future is likely to continue to feel the pressure of protectionist pressures. But continued support for more open trade will require other forms of protection, in the form of better social safety nets, investment in technology, in education and in infrastructure. He added – the multilateral trading system of the future will also have to take better account of the growing importance of global value chains.
The Director-General also said – the multilateral trading system of the future will have to face the challenge posed by the proliferation of complex preferential trade agreements. The 2011 WTO World Trade Report shows that while there is slow convergence on tariffs, the risk of divergences in regulatory frameworks in preferential trade agreements is growing. He suggested – we will need to fashion a new framework more applicable to these preferential trade agreements.