Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

regional trade agreements: PROGRAMME AND PRESENTATIONS

Friday, 26 April 2002
Programme and presentations for the seminar on regionalism and the WTO

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Annotated Programme

Welcoming Words
Miguel Rodríguez Mendoza, Deputy Director-General, WTO


Session One: The Changing Landscape of the Global Trading System back to top

The objective of this session is to introduce the concept of RTAs and to assess its significance in today's global trading system.

New developments in the WTO and in RTAs

  • Trends and characteristics on the evolution of RTAs
  • Recent developments and forecasts

Clemens Boonekamp, Director, Trade Policies Review Division, WTO
Download: “Regional trade integration under transformation”, Word format, 1318KB


Session Two: RTA Market Access and Regulatory Provisions
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The objective of this session is twofold: it looks at the correlation between market access and regulatory provisions in RTAs and to whether the nature and depth of this relationship facilitates or hinders trade liberalization; and it considers specific RTA regulatory regimes and discusses whether they operate in a manner which may be considered to be WTO-plus or -minus.

Frontiers of trade liberalization in RTAs: the treatment of “sensitive” products and the role of origin rules
Antoni Estevadeordal, Senior Trade Economist, Integration, Trade and Hemispheric Issues Division, Integration and Regional Programs Department, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C.
Download: “Traditional market access issues in RTAs: An unfinished agenda in the Americas?”, pdf format, 460KB

Significance of standards, technical regulations and SPS provisions in RTAs
Joel P. Trachtman, Professor of International Law, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA
Download: “Toward open recognition? Standardization and regional integration under Article XXIV of GATT”, pdf format, 169KB

Contingency provisions in RTAs
Dean Spinanger, Senior Research Associate, Kiel Institute of World Economics, Germany
Download: “RTAs and contingent protection: Are anti-dumping measures (ADMs) really an issue?”, Word format, 1486KB

Economic integration in trade in services
Rolf Adlung, Counsellor, Trade in Services Division, WTO
Download: “The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) — Relevance for regional co-operation and integration”, Power Point presentation 100KB
Download: “Regional agreements and trade in services: Policy issues”, Word format, 361KB (Paper provided by Aaditya Mattoo and Carsten Fink, Development Research Group, World Bank)

Other regulatory provisions in RTAs (investment, competition, trade facilitation)
Ken Heydon, Deputy Director, Trade Directorate, OECD
Download: “Regulatory provisions in Regional Trade Agreements: “Singapore” issues”, Word format, 96KB


Roundtable: What Relationship Between the Multilateral Trading System and RTAs?
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Panelists will exchange views on possible synergies between regional and multilateral approaches to trade policy-making and trade liberalization, and on appropriate institutional and legal structures for the management of differing trade regimes, ranging from the multilateral to the bilateral.


  • Muchkund Dubey, President, Council for Social Development, India
  • Jeffrey Schott, Senior Fellow, Institute for International Economics, U.S.A.
  • Patrick A. Messerlin, Director, Groupe d'Economie Mondiale, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, France
  • Robert Scollay, Director, APEC Study Centre, New Zealand
  • Ramón Torrent, Director, Observatory of Globalisation, University of Barcelona, Spain

Miguel Rodríguez Mendoza, Deputy Director-General, WTO


General Debate
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Miguel Rodríguez Mendoza, Deputy Director-General, WTO