Global Forum on Trade 2015
3 November 2015, Paris, France
There have been dramatic shifts in trade patterns in recent decades, attributable in large part to the emergence of both the major “emerging economies” and global value chains that have fragmented production around the world. Services are the fastest growing part of virtually all economies today, with trade in services as well as services embodied in traded goods totalling over 40% of global trade.
In recent years there has been a significant slowdown in trade growth, for both cyclical and structural reasons. At the multilateral level WTO negotiations remain stalled while increasing attention focusses on regional and plurilateral initiatives, including several 'mega-initiatives, to open markets amongst a smaller number of interested economies. Unilateral market opening is an increasingly viable option for countries to reduce unnecessary trade costs imposed on their domestic firms. The 2014 G20 commitment under Australia's Presidency, to undertake comprehensive structural reforms as a way of boosting growth by 2% beyond what it would otherwise be, included important trade and competition elements.
Against this background, the purpose of this Global Forum is two-fold: to explore the medium term prospects and the likely nature of future trade flows; and, to highlight trade and related policy approaches that would ensure that trade and investment continue to contribute to more inclusive growth and employment in all economies.
For questions about the Global Forum on Trade, please contact the Trade and Agriculture Directorate.
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