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Move WTO to Hong Kong to Reflect New Global Trade Order

Posted August 19, 2014

Under International Trade Issues

(Jean-Pierre Lehmann – SCMP)

The world trade regime needs a Pacific Charter and a new rules-making body based in Hong Kong to reflect the growing role of Asian players in global trade

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, the World Trade Organisation can be deemed to be insane. The latest failure in an unending stream of failures occurred on July 31 when India refused to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement that had been reached (in extremis) in Bali at the WTO ministerial meeting in December last year.

Next year, 2015, will mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the WTO - with 14 of the 20 years having been taken up by the elusive pursuit of the Doha Development Agenda.

It is time to have a radical rethink of the structure and the spirit of the organisation. Former Indonesian trade minister and thought leader Mari Pangestu has proposed that the forthcoming G20 summit in Brisbane should set up an eminent persons group to do precisely that. Her proposal deserves support. Read more here,