S6: Bridging the Development Divide for a Fully Inclusive Trading System
Organizer: Cato Trade
Public Monday September, 28 17:00 — 18:30 (90m)
Rebooting the WTO
Geneva Trade Week is supported by:

Development has been a longstanding challenge for the World Trade Organization. While some members have rapidly ascended the development ladder, others have not. Whether or not members can work to level the playing field for entrepreneurs, women, and youth in the developing world will be a key litmus test for the organization as it struggles to conclude new negotiations.

Ensuring that trade benefits all requires a more targeted approach to assessing development needs to assist those members in most need to fill capacity gaps for a more sustainable and inclusive trading environment. But developing members cannot do this alone and developed members must be committed to bridging the gap.

This panel addresses this issue by examining options for reform of special and differential treatment, as well as a discussion on the variation in development needs across the membership. It aims to have a frank and open discussion of the WTO’s current challenges in preserving multilateral rules that benefit all, as well as the opportunities for building upon past success.

Key questions:

  1. What lessons can be drawn from the last 25 years of the WTO on how to build a more inclusive and sustainable trading system?
  2. How can the WTO help to fill critical capacity gaps preventing or limiting the inclusivity of trade’s benefits for growth?
  3. How do we ensure that the WTO remains accessible to all Members, and that individuals within less-developed countries can benefit from the institution and its rules?

In the second portion of the session, the floor will open for a moderated audience discussion guided by the questions:

  • Can special and differential treatment at the WTO be reformed?
    • If so, how can Members address the competing concerns of developing and developed country Members in charting a new course, and what would that compromise look like?


Continue the conversation in the dedicated chat on the Beyond Trade Network.

This session will be simultaneously translated into French, Spanish and English (when needed) via the Interactio application, by entering the code GTW2020 (please use headphones). Open the application in your Web browser or download it for iOS Mobile App or for Android App.

Organizer: Cato Trade
Public Monday September, 28 17:00 — 18:30 (90m)
Rebooting the WTO