Series of Dept Research Seminars - “The Fracturing of Global Trade Relations: Where Are ‘Mega-Regional’ Preferential Deals and Geopolitical Rivalry Taking International Trade Cooperation in the Face of an Ailing Multilateralism?’ (Date:29 October 2015)
The 21st century has seen a decline in the effectiveness of the World Trade Organization as a locus for doing business on trade matters. The void has increasingly been filled by hundreds of preferential deals among subsets of countries. In more recent times, a tendency has emerged to build smaller preferential groupings into larger collections of participating economies, known as the ‘Mega-Regionals’. Examples of these in the Asian region include the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. These prospective agreements aspire to deep policy integration that is more commensurate with a globalized world characterized by a high degree of mutual interdependency. The Mega-Regionals also impose significant costs of exclusion on those countries outside them, and reflect competition among major economies for power and influence.
This is a far from optimal set of arrangements. Does it reflect what governments will have to try to manage in the future? Or do they need to consider more seriously how to make the WTO and multilateralism work better? Does the tone and tenor of today’s global politics even make this possible?
Our Speaker Dr. Patrick Low will share with us on “The Fracturing of Global Trade Relations: Where Are ‘Mega-Regional’ Preferential Deals and Geopolitical Rivalry Taking International Trade Cooperation in the Face of an Ailing Multilateralism?’
All are welcome and registration is not required.
29 October, 2015 (Thursday)
15:30 - 17:00
|About the Speaker||
Dr. Patrick Low, a Fellow at the Asia Global Institute and a Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong. From 2013 to 2015, he was Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow at the Fung Global Institute, Hong Kong. He served as the Chief Economist of the World Trade Organization from 1997 to 2013, and prior to that in the 1980s he worked for the GATT, the WTO’s precursor. He has held various other posts at the WTO, including as Chief of Staff from1999-2002, and worked in the research complex at the World Bank in Washington DC for four years in the early 1990s. He also taught at graduate level in the Economics Faculty of El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City, for three years in the late 1980s. He has worked as a consultant to various governments and international organizations over the years. From 2004 to 2013, during part of his period as the WTO’s Chief Economist, Patrick Low was also an Adjunct Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, where he taught graduate courses on the theory and political economy of trade and trade policy, and on the economics and politics of climate change. He holds a PhD in economics and has published widely on these issues.'