Eurasian Perspectives on the Future of the Multilateral Trading System: Accessions and the Evolution of WTO Rules

Astana, Kazakhstan

Objectives and programme

Historically, trade has played a critical role in shaping Eurasia by connecting various political, economic and social forces of people and communities, such as those located along the Silk Road. In modern times, trade has once again served as a catalyst for promoting dialogue and unlocking the economic potential of the newly-independent States which emerged following the redrawing of the Eurasian map in the early 1990s.

At the time of the establishment of the WTO in 1995, Eurasia was underrepresented in the Organization. During the last 23 years, 36 new Members acceded to the WTO, including many from Eurasia. Thus, the WTO has expanded to 164 Members and the reach of its rules and disciplines has been extended to over 98 per cent of global trade. With several large economies actively pursuing WTO Membership, Eurasia continues to be a source of strength and dynamism for the rules-based multilateral trading system. 

Hosted in Astana, at the heart of Eurasia, the China Round Table will provide a timely context for an exchange of views on the future of the multilateral trading system through WTO accessions and their systemic contributions.  The specific objectives of the Round Table are as follows:

(i) To exchange views on the role and contributions of the Eurasian economies to the rules-based multilateral trading system and vice versa;

(ii) To share direct experience and lessons learned on WTO accessions from Eurasia;

(iii) To review the role of accessions in rule-making in the WTO; and

(iv) To provide a platform for discussions on joint initiatives in trade.


The programme of the Seventh China Round Table is structured into the following sessions:

  • Session 1: Eurasia in the Global Economy and the Multilateral Trading System;
  • Session 2: Evolution of WTO Accessions in Eurasia: Results, Impacts and New Trends;
  • Session 3: Contributions of WTO Accessions to Rule-Making;
  • Session 4: Joint Initiatives in Trade.



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