Economic research conference

Updating Trade Cooperation: An Economic View

Geneva, WTO Headquarters - Room W

Video Morning session

9:45-10:30 : Keynote Speech

  • Pinelopi Goldberg, Chief Economist of the World Bank

10:30-12:00 : Session 1

What is the value of a rules-based system of international cooperation?

The value of international cooperation arises from greater certainty and transparency as well as the exchange of market access. Commitments also help avoid political economy ineffciencies. This results in higher welfare and stronger growth. In an age of global value chains and digitalization, how does the value of international cooperation change?


  • Anabel González, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics


  • Kyle Bagwell, Professor of Economics, Stanford University


  • Marcelo Olarreaga, Professor of Economics, University of Geneva
  • Ralph Ossa, Professor of Economics, University of Zurich
  • H.E. Junichi Ihara, Ambassador, Japan

12:00-13:30 : Session 2

The design of trade agreements: Rationale and policy reality check.

One challenge of trade agreements is to remain sustainable over time. This session will discuss the economic ra­tionale for reciprocity and non-discrimination as well as special and differential treatment. It will discuss how the design of a trade agreement ensures its resistance to shocks and whether the current system is designed to accom­modate the kind of rapid changes in global trade and production of the last 20 years.


  • Chad Bown, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics


  • Meredith Crowley, Reader in International Economics, University of Cambridge


  • Lionel Fontagné, Professor of Economics, Paris School of Economics
  • Aaditya Mattoo, Research Manager, Trade and Integration, World Bank
  • H.E. Xiangchen Zhang, Ambassador, China

Video Afternoon session

14:30-16:00 : Session 3

How best to address the fast-changing nature of global economy?

The global landscape evolves and there are many different countries and views. The changing nature of what is being traded and how imply that many issues and topics have become relevant to trade policy. What needs to be taken into account in trade policy negotiations? What options are available to ensure that trade negotiations keep pace with the changes in global economy?


  • Patrick Low, Director, Asia Global Fellows Program, Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong


  • Bernard Hoekman, Professor and Director of Global Economics, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute in Florence


  • Paola Conconi, Professor of Economics, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Nuno Limão, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland
  • H.E. Dennis Shea, Ambassador, the United States

16:00-17:30 : Session 4

Looking into the future: What trade reforms will promote growth, development and inclusiveness?

This session will highlight that support for open trade hinges on its inclusiveness. Complementary and adjustment policies are of crucial importance to ensure that the gains from trade are broadly shared. History shows that tech­nological innovations have fuelled growth and welfare, and digital technologies are bringing new gains. How can trade policy cooperation evolve to seize opportunities for higher growth and more inclusiveness?


  • Joseph Francois, Managing Director and Professor of Economics, World Trade Institute


  • John Romalis, Professor of Economics, University of Sydney


  • Emily Blanchard, Associate Professor, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
  • Mauricio Mesquita Moreira, Chief Economist, Integration and Trade Sector, Inter-American Development Bank
  • H.E. Alexandre Guido Lopes Parola, Ambassador, Brazil

17:30-17:45 : Concluding Remarks

  • Robert Koopman, Chief Economist of the WTO

Published in 2018

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