Working Sessions: 01 October 2021 – 11:30-12:30
Friday October, 1 11:30 — 12:30 (60m)
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Geneva Trade Week is supported by:

Title: Designing Development-Friendly Trade Policy for a Sustainable Future

Organizers: Centre for WTO Studies (CWS) Faculty of Law, Foreign Trade University,
Vietnam(FTU

Description:

Several UN SDGs exhort Members to, directly or indirectly, work towards trading sustainably. In light of the recent initiatives to mainstream issues related to environment and labour at the WTO, how should developing countries respond? What are the likely consequences of linking trade with sustainable development for the developing countries? Importantly, what are the essential elements that should to be taken into account to make any sustainable trade policy development friendly? What is the appropriate international forum to discuss the issue of sustainable trade? These are some issues that this session will explore.

Title: Mainstreaming the COVID-19 recovery: The importance of supporting women entrepreneurs,
MSMEs and digital trade 

Organizers: Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva International Trade Centre (ITC) Permanent Mission of
Colombia to the WTO Permanent Mission of Canada to the WTO Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the WTO and EFTA (UN/ECE,UNCTAD, ITC)

Description:

The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of a great number of businesses, including MSMEs. Greater digital interconnectedness brings increased benefits – however, those without the requisite hardware or know-how will fall even further behind. Worldwide, women are still 8% less likely than men to own a mobile phone, and there are still 300 million fewer women than men who have internet access. Women, their communities, and national economies will not be able to realize their full potential in digital economies if inequalities in the affordability, access, use, and ownership of digital tools are not addressed. This session provides insights into the experience of women entrepreneurs on the ground during the pandemic, with an emphasis on digitalization as well as what governments can do to support them. Speakers from the ITC, Colombia, Nigeria and Uruguay will share how gender and digitalisation is factored into planning for the post COVID-19 recovery.

Title: Achieving Resilience Through Climate Compatible trade: Aligning Africa’s Green Recovery and the Implementation Agenda of the African Continental Free Trade Area 

Organizers: Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Description:

COVID-19 had initially delayed implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, but now it is imperative it provides the stimulus needed and sets economies on greener trajectories as outlined in the African Union Green Recovery Action Plan. Greater alignment with countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and
trade policy is imperative for African countries in order to secure climate compatible trade as part of Africa’s green recovery efforts. In addition, African countries will need to adapt to measures adopted elsewhere as part of green recovery endeavours. There is now a strategic opportunity to advance green recovery efforts through the
provisions included in the AfCFTA, as well as advance more aligned African trade and climate positions at the WTO. This session will explore these aspects with specific reference to African-case studies, including Least Developed Countries, and draw out the broader implications for WTO members in securing climate compatible trade.

Title: Strengthening Global Trade Rules to Restore a WTO That Matter

Organizers: BusinessEurope (BE)

Description:

The WTO needs a reform agenda to start to break impasses and tackle the urgent and encompassing challenges of the 21st century. As part of this process, updating or establishing new global trade rules is key to continue to provide assurance and stability to the multilateral trading system. For instance, as part of the competitive neutrality agenda, new rules on industrial  subsidies are essential to address the negative effects of protectionist interpretations of global trade, which can generate distortions of competition and disturb supply chains. With the objective to contribute to a proactive reform agenda, this session will look into the revision of rules to rebuild trust in the trading system: Why strengthening global trade rules is key to solving the WTO impasse? Which are the rules in most urgent need of update? How can we move forward and make that revision, especially in achieving competitive neutrality, a reality?

Title: Time to agree, not disagree: Imperative of reforming the WTO’s appellate body 

Organizers: Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International)

Description:

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath are expected to further damage the existing geopolitical and geo-economic equilibrium. Given this situation, it is all the more important for the global trade governing body to become more functional by making its dispute settlement system effective again. We need to go to the root cause of why the U.S. has expressed its displeasure at various junctures on account of long delays including interpretations of various provisions of the WTO agreements by its Appellate Body. This has challenged the functioning of the rules-based multilateral trading system and raised questions concerning the relevance of other multilateral institutions as well in the current geopolitical environment. The responsibility of strengthening the multilateral trading system lies with the member countries. There is no alternative but to reform the WTO’s dispute settlement system to rebuild a modern and dynamic WTO.

Title:Business Challenges Aassociated with Sustainable Trade and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Organizers: Global Business Coalition (GBC)

Description:

As part of the “Collective action towards Sustainable trade” sub-theme, the Global Business Coalition (GBC) wishes to tackle the urgent challenges associated with sustainable trade and carbon border adjustment mechanisms. As a global business federation advocating since 2012 on behalf of almost 7 million companies, large and small, worldwide, with the support of prominent business federations engaged in B20/ B7 task forces addressing Sustainability & Trade, the GBC thinks sustainability is a powerful driver for the resilience the world needs in the aftermath of the crisis. And businesses are ready to play their part! In this session, we will give the floor to Emissions-Intensive and Trade-Exposed industries, inviting them to review major challenges (conciliating trade & environment, protecting biodiversity, promoting circular economy, reducing carbon footprint), illustrate how companies can manufacture & trade responsibly and make concrete proposals for regulatory and policy principles to
consider when thinking of carbon border adjustments

Title: Business Challenges Associated with Sustainable Trade and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Organizers: Global Business Coalition (GBC)

Description:

As part of the “Collective action towards Sustainable trade” sub-theme, the Global Business Coalition (GBC) wishes to tackle the urgent challenges associated with sustainable trade and carbon border adjustment mechanisms. As a global business federation advocating since 2012 on behalf of almost 7 million companies, large and small, worldwide, with the support of prominent business federations engaged in B20/ B7 task forces addressing Sustainability & Trade, the GBC thinks sustainability is a powerful driver for the resilience the world needs in the aftermath of the crisis. And businesses are ready to play their part! In this session, we will give the floor to Emissions-Intensive and Trade-Exposed industries, inviting them to review major challenges (conciliating trade & environment, protecting biodiversity, promoting circular economy, reducing carbon footprint), illustrate how companies can manufacture & trade responsibly and make concrete proposals for regulatory and policy principles to
consider when thinking of carbon border adjustments.

Friday October, 1 11:30 — 12:30 (60m)
wto
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