Delivering on Development by 2030: What Role for the WTO in the New Economy?

WTO Public Forum Session
Organised by
4 October 2018
WTO Room S2

The 2030 Agenda establishes a set of highly ambitious sustainable development goals and targets. Trade and trade policies will play a critical role in achieving such goals. By 2030, however, the global economy is likely to be significantly different from today. Deep technological and socio-economic changes such as automation, 3D printing or the trend towards re-localisation of production will gain in importance. Issues such as e-commerce, investment, and services will increasingly become the focus of economic policymaking.

For developing countries aspiring to achieve structural economic transformation, these evolutions pose particular challenges. This session will explore in a combined debate and roundtable format, ways to ensure that the new economy effectively contributes to inclusive growth and sustainable development. It will review issues around industrial policies, technology diffusion, investment and trade facilitation with a 2030-time horizon focusing on key development concerns and areas where WTO rules may need to be updated.

This event is organized as part of the WTO Public Forum 2018

Peter Draper is Executive Director of the Institute for International Trade in the University of Adelaide, Australia. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Research Foundation; non-resident senior fellow of the Brussels-based European Centre for International Political Economy; and Associated Researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE). He is also a Director of Tutwa Consulting Group and former member and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Global Trade and FDI system;

Previously, Peter worked in South Africa’s national Department of Trade and Industry in bilateral economic relations, and as head of the economic analysis and research unit in the International Trade and Economic Development Division. Prior to that he was an academic teaching economic history and political economy, and headed the Department of Economics and Economic History at the then University of Durban-Westville (now University of KwaZulu-Natal).

Anabel González is a global expert in economic development, focused on trade, regional integration and investment. As former Senior Director of the World Bank´s Global Practice on Trade & Competitiveness (2014-18), she led the Bank´s agenda on trade, investment climate, competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship. She previously served as Minister of Trade of Costa Rica (2010-14), where she led the country´s strategy to join the OECD, negotiated and implemented six FTAs, and contributed to attract over 140 greenfield investment projects. She also worked as Director, Agriculture Division, WTO; Costa Rica Chief Negotiator for the Central America-United States-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, Costa Rica Ministry of Trade; Senior Consultant on Trade and Investment, Inter-American Development Bank; and Director-General, Costa Rican Investment Promotion Board. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Trade and Foreign Investment, sits on several boards, and writes and presents on related topics.

Katrin Kuhlmann is the President and Founder of the New Markets Lab, a non-profit center focused on the intersection between law and regulation, economic development, entrepreneurship, and social impact. She is also a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and she serves as a Senior Associate with the Global Food Security Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Her work focuses on trade and development, regional trade agreements, and market regulation, and she is published widely and frequently speaks on these topics. Ms. Kuhlmann is also a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Bretton Woods Committee, and the Trade, Finance, and Development Experts Group of the E15 Initiative led by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and World Economic Forum. She has held leadership positions in several non-profit organizations and think tanks and worked as a trade negotiator at USTR and international lawyer in private practice. She holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Creighton University, and was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study international economics.

Ricardo MELÉNDEZ-ORTIZ is founder and Chief Executive since 1996 of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Previously, he co-founded and was General Director of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Quito). He has represented Colombia as a negotiator in several multilateral fora, including as permanent delegate of Colombia in Geneva and as a negotiator in GATT’s Uruguay Round, the Rio’92 UN Conference process, UNCTAD VIII, the Climate Change Convention, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Montreal Protocol. He acted as spokesperson for the G77 in several fora and served as chair of the UN Standing Committees on Commodities and on Trade Preferences. Earlier, he had served as Principal Adviser to the Colombian Minister of Economic Development and as Chief of Administration of the Office of the President of Colombia.

Since 1997, Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz has been the publisher of BRIDGES and its sister publications, and has edited, authored and published a wide range of books, articles and opinion pieces in English, French and Spanish on economic governance, trade, sustainable development and conflict management.

He has served or currently sits on advisory committees and the boards of a number of global policy initiatives, including as Board chairperson of the Meridian Institute (U.S.); World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Biodiversity and the Bio-Economy; World Economic Forum’s Stewardship Board on Trade and Investment; a Convener of the 'E15 Initiative’, an international undertaking involving over 400 experts seeking options for the global trade and investment system; Member of the Board of Intellectual Property Watch (Geneva); the Operating Board of AccountAbility (London); the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Trade and WEF’s Working Group on Trade and Climate Change; The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy (U of Boston); The Center for Global Development’s Global Trade Preference Working Group (Washington, DC); The Evian’s Group Brains Trust (IMD); the Global Governance Network of Globus et Locus (Milano); the Steering Committees of DfID’s Global Trade and Finance Architecture Initiative and of UN DESA’s Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (New York), a Patron of the Earth Focus Foundation (Geneva); in the recent past he served as Chair of the Global Action Network’s Council (Cambridge, MA); and member of the U.N. Secretary General Millennium Project Task Force on Trade; the WTO’s Director General NGO Advisory Group; and the MOFCOM/IISD China Sustainable Development and Global Markets Task Force.

In 2016 he was an advisor to the G20 China Presidency on Trade and Investment, in 2017 co-chair of the T20 Task Force on Trade and Investment during Germany’s G20 Presidency, in 2018 co-chair of T20 Task Force on Trade, Investment and Tax Cooperation during Argentina’s G20 Presidency and in 2018/2019 co-chair of T20 Task Force for Trade, Investment and Globalization during Japan’s G20 Presidency.

Since 2015, he is part of the Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) Global Digital Futures Policy Forum.

Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz, a graduate of Harvard University, has recently co-authored the New Industrial Revolution: Upgrading Trade and Investment Frameworks for Digitalization (21 August 2018) with Axel Berger: this policy brief was produced by the T20 Task Force on Trade, Investment and Tax Cooperation under the G20 Presidency of Argentina in 2018; Renforcer le système international du commerce et de l’investissement au 21ème siècle (1 December 2016) with Richard Samans; The Law and Economics of a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement (30 August 2016) with Gary Hufbauer, Richard Samans; Envisioning China’s G20 Presidency: Proposals for the global trade and investment regime in the 21st century (19 March 2016); Strengthening the Global Trade and Investment System in the 21st Century, Synthesis Report, under the E15Initiative (22 January 2016) with Richard Samans, Harsha V. Singh, Sean Doherty; Enabling the Energy Transition and Scale-up of Clean Energy Technologies: Options for the Global Trade System, under the E15Initiative (22 January 2016)Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) with A. Najam and M. Halle, and co-edited Rebuilding Global Trade: Proposals for A Fairer, More Sustainable Future(Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford U. and ICTSD, 2009) with C. Deere; Agricultural Subsidies In The WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence With Sustainable Development Goals (Cambridge University Press, 2009) with C. Bellmann and J. Hepburn; Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development, Agendas in a Changing World(Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) with P. Roffe; and, WTO Dispute Settlement: The Developing CountryExperience (Cambridge U. Press, forthcoming November 2010) with G. Shaffer. He holds the Colombian nationality and is a resident of Switzerland where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Dr. Yueh is Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, and Adjunct Professor of Economics at London Business School. She is also Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science's (LSE) foreign policy think tank, the IDEAS research centre, and was Visiting Professor of Economics at Peking University. She is the Editor of the Routledge Series on Economic Growth and Development. Her latest book is The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today (US: What Would the Great Economists Do? How Twelve Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today’s Biggest Problems).