Stormy-Annika Mildner, B20 Germany Sherpa / Head, External Economic Policy, Federation of German Industry (BDI)
Despite important success stories of the WTO in recent years (e.g. agreements on trade facilitation and information technology), rule making and market opening by the multilateral process is lagging behind the pace set by regional trade agreements (RTAs). RTAs, however, are especially designed to create economic benefits for those countries involved, not for the WTO membership as a whole. The group of the 20 largest economies of the world (G20) could become a driving force to make the rising number of RTAs more inclusive and beneficial for all. Among others, this high-level panel will examine the following questions: What are the elements of RTAs that make them most inclusive and relevant for today’s world trade? What can the WTO process learn from the experience with RTAs and which rules on RTAs should be set and enforced multilaterally?