Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Conference: "Persistent Imbalances in International Trade & the Prospects for Sustainable Development"

Venue: University Of Ljubljana, School Of Social Sciences, Department Of International Relations, Slovenia.

For online participation register HERE.

Despite many successes in establishing and maintaining an open economic world system, the WTO institutional arrangement found itself in crisis. There has been a substantial increase in international trade volume in the last quarter of the century. However, many regions and social groups both in the developed and the developing countries remain excluded from the benefits of the current arrangement. Structural imbalances in international trade, caused by domestic and international policy measures, have not yet been sufficiently addressed. Recent attempts to tackle persistent international imbalances by unilateral measures revealed that they can only deepen the crisis and erode the trust towards the multilateral institutions. International challenges in addressing persistent imbalances can be effectively resolved only at the international level.

After the failed Doha round the attempts to launch a 'truly development friendly' trade talks were replaced by the expansion of bilateral and regional trade agreements, by the (uneven) rise of BRICS countries, by the protracting financial and economic crisis in many parts of the world and most recently by the trade wars between some of the major trading blocs in the world. International trade rules should be redefined to secure more inclusive, more sustainable, and more diverse domestic and international development. 

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