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Andreas Esche, Director of the Programme Shaping Sustainable Economies, Bertelsmann Stiftung


Inclusiveness in global trade: when trade can be conducted on a non-discriminatory and non-exclusive basis between all sorts of economies, thanks to an equitable and transparent set of rules. As of today, the WTO plays a fundamental role in maintaining inclusiveness through its trade accords. The issue today is that the WTO agreements are not considered anymore by the business community and some governments to reflect the realities of trade. As a response, the natural advent of mega-deals and plurilateral agreements threatens the inclusiveness of the world trading system and challenges global trade governance.

The session will thus address the concept of inclusiveness and what it means today in an increasingly fragmented trading system. Panellists will aim at providing concrete and pragmatic answers to a difficult question: how international actors can guarantee that the world trading system remains inclusive and not divisive through the various multilateral and preferential trade negotiations?


  • Rohini Acharya, Chief of RTA Section of the TPR Division at the WTO
  • Bernard Hoekman, Professor at the European University Institute
  • Xiankun Lu, Partner, IDEAS Centre
  • Xinquan Tu, Dean, China Institute for WTO Studies, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) China
  • Fritz Philipp Putzhammer, Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung