FTA Contributes to WTO Public Forum Discussion

05-10-2015

On 2 October 2015 and for the third consecutive year, FTA and EuroCommerce jointly organised a panel debate at the WTO Public Forum in Geneva. The well-attended session gathered 80 participants to discuss the topic “Continuing the success story: Which trade policy to make global value chains work?”

Speakers at this session included Marc Vanheukelen, EU Ambassador to the WTO; Katarina Maaskant, IKEA Group, Head of Public Affairs; Shin-Yuan Lai, Ambassador of Taiwan to the WTO; and Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director of European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE). The panel succeeded in demonstrating once more the fundamental role of the multilateral level in tackling issues which cannot be addressed at the domestic or even regional level. An example was given on the lack of harmonised rules of origin, still being handled differently in each jurisdiction, leading to high bureaucratic costs and legal incertitude.

In the margins of the Public Forum, FTA met with an important number of trade policy-makers, notably WTO officials, representatives from sourcing countries and members of the European Parliament to create new dynamics around the difficult negotiations ahead of the Ministerial Conference in December. FTA is planning a series of activities to contribute to the success of the conference which will be crucial to get the WTO back on the road to success.

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