Global Forum on Trade 2014 (Fall)
Trade in Services - Realising their Potential for Growth & Jobs
Paris, France | 4 November, 2014
Services dominate the economic landscape of advanced and emerging economies, accounting for 80 percent of employment, 75 percent of GDP, 60 percent of FDI, and 50 percent of value added exports. Yet, in practice, very little progress has been made to date in the WTO either to expand the coverage of services disciplines much beyond what was negotiated in the Uruguay Round in 1994, or to generate any real liberalisation of services markets. In contrast, services have emerged as the most widespread sector where WTO-plus commitments have been endorsed in regional trade agreements that have been signed since 2001.
This GFT will bring together policy makers, business representatives and other stakeholders to discuss the available evidence on restrictions to services trade and the opportunities to open services markets, as one important contribution to generating widespread growth and jobs. What are the preconditions for desirable service sector reforms? how to counterbalance domestic opposition to reform and liberalisation by incumbents? What role for international cooperation in securing services trade reforms? These are some of the questions that this policy dialogue will seek to answer.
Agenda and general information
Global Forum on Trade 2014 (Spring)
Reconciling Regionalism and Multilateralism in a Post-Bali World
Paris, France | 11-12 February, 2014
Following months of intense negotiations, on 7 December 2013 the 9th WTO Ministerial Meeting reached agreement on a package of measures which included three main pillars: trade facilitation; agriculture and food security; and development and LDC issues. This agreement has been hailed as a major breakthrough, signalling a revival of the multilateral Doha Development Agenda negotiations which had been stalled since 2008, and, as the first multilateral package agreed since its foundation, a significant achievement for the WTO. Ministers have instructed the Trade Negotiations Committee “to prepare within the next 12 months, a clearly defined work programme on the remaining Doha Agenda issues.”
OECD’s Trade Committee has always been a staunch supporter of the multilateral system, through its analysis and advocacy of the “first best” nature of multilateral solutions, providing evidence based contributions to negotiations through pioneering work on traditional and emerging trade issues, and orienting its work on regional trade agreements to the question of how best to harness the advances they make to the benefit of a strong multilateral system.
The Bali outcome occurs at a moment in time when several mega-regional agreements or plurilaterals have already been agreed or are under negotiation, while there is renewed optimism about the capacity of the multilateral system to also make progress. The timing is therefore propitious for a high-level discussion about how these different developments can be reconciled. But the problems are formidable and it is not clear whether the Bali success can be repeated, or whether exploration of systemic changes in the way international trade negotiations are conducted might carry more potential at this juncture.
OECD’s Global Forum on Trade on the theme of Reconciling Regionalism and Multilateralism in a Post-Bali World provides a first opportunity post-Bali for OECD and key emerging nations to discuss these issues together in open, brainstorming mode, under Chatham House rules (no attribution), together with a small number of renowned academic experts and senior representatives of business and trade union interests. The Global Forum will assist OECD’s Trade Committee as it reflects on the contribution it could make in the context of the on-going elaboration of its work programme for the period 2015-2016 and beyond.
Agenda and report on the 2014 Forum
» Agenda - 2014 Global Forum (pdf)
» Read the Rapporteur's Report on the 2014 Global Forum (pdf) | by Craig VanGrasstek
Background papers and presentations
» Deep Provisions in RTAs - Iza Lejarraga | Presentation (pdf)
» Multilateralising 21st Century Regionalism - Richard Baldwin | Background Paper (pdf) | Presentation (pdf)
» Can Mega-Regionals Support Multilateralism - Jeffrey Schott | Presentation (pdf)
» A way out of preferential deals - Jayant Menon | Presentation (pdf)
» OECD work on Regional Trade Agreements
» OECD work on Trade facilitation
For more information about the Global Forum on Trade please contact the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate.