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Mega-regionals and the multilateral trading system

Date
Time (GMT +01) 10:30 12:30
Hero image description: Scenes from Al Obaied Crop Market, North Kordofan Workers sort, repack and ship Gum Arabic lots Image credit:World Bank photo collection photostream Image license:Creative Commons

Chair

Prof. Jim Rollo - Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex / Associate Research Fellow, Chatham House

Speakers

Ganesh Wignaraja - Advisor Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank

Maximiliano Mendez-Parra - Research Fellow, International Economic Development Group, ODI

Sheila Page - Senior Research Associate, International Economic Development Group, ODI

Description

The impact of free trade agreements is being felt by countries outside them. Large regions and the main developing countries’ trading partners are negotiating mega-regional agreements such as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

These agreements are being negotiated in parallel to the multilateral negotiations that will lead to the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) Nairobi Ministerial Meeting. Are mega-regional agreements an opportunity or hindrance for developing countries?

This event will explore how mega-regionals affect Least Developed Countries' (LDC) trade with their main partners; and whether these agreements are weakening the ability to conclude a multilateral agreement through the constitution of an alternative integration opportunity for many countries, including LDCs.