Global trading system dubai


Some years ago, the distinguished economist Richard Baldwin said: Preferential trade agreements PTAs increased from 20 in to close to today, and have become a key feature of the international trade policy landscape.

Every country global trading system dubai the world is party to at least one PTA, with Mongolia the last to join the pack when it signed a deal with Japan in What will the outcome of this shock be? Are we in for a recess, retreat or revamp of regional trade integration? Much depends on how other key global trading system dubai will respond to this shock.

Though PTAs tend to be a tough political sell, governments pursue them because they increase productivity and benefit consumers; promote economic policy reform; underpin supply chains; and have other positive implications in terms of regional peace and security. Also, though estimates of the trade impact of PTAs vary, economists agree that they boost trade among members and hence, global trading system dubai positive effects on growth.

Expectations were high, as these agreements would cover a significant part of world trade. There were also concerns. How would these mega-regional agreements shape the global trading system? Would they be game changers or costly distractions? How would they global trading system dubai non-members and how would they react? Fast forward to and the situation is very different. There has been a shock to the system, in the form of the repositioning of the US and the UK.

The UK post-Brexit repositioning involves undoing a very deep trade integration scheme with the EU, and agreeing on new rules of engagement for a future economic partnership, while replicating or renegotiating some odd PTAs that came with EU membership — global trading system dubai a small task.

How will other countries reposition their policies to respond to the current shocks? Is the world in for a recess, a risk of retreat, or a revamping of PTAs? These are the questions of today — very different from those of barely a year and a half ago. Among the challenges, there is some interesting news. Under the strategy that the best defence is a good offence, the EU is bringing greater predictability to global trade. In Asia, countries are also moving forward. Japan has taken the leadership role in what seemed global trading system dubai unlikely resurrection of TPP after the US withdrawal.

At the same time, the EU-Japan PTA — also to be global trading system dubai in March — is a very significant economic cooperation commitment between these two leaders of world trade. It is the most ambitious initiative to improve regional economic integration and connectivity on a transcontinental scale: Other regions are also actively engaged. In light of the above, the world is not in for a full retreat on Global trading system dubai.

While some negotiations have been suspended, important trade agreements are being undone, and uncertainty underpins US involvement in the negotiation of trade agreements; the EU, Japan, China and others have picked up the baton and are leading the world to greater trade cooperation. This is a sign of the new times.

Their leadership is welcome. It is doing a lot of good in itself, but it is also instrumental in keeping the door open for when others may be ready to come back. In addition, the cost of being left out is greater in a cooperative rather than a divided world, so they are increasing the likelihood that others may be willing to re-engage tomorrow.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Here is what you need to know about the US-China trade dispute 06 Apr Which countries spend most on healthcare and do they get value for money?

Robin Bowman 06 Apr More on the agenda. Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis. International Trade and Investment View all. Africa has a new free trade area. Beware the fragility of the global economy Alberto Gallo 23 Mar

Inthe growth of world trade will be global trading system dubai its slowest since global trading system dubai financial crisis ofreports the World Trade Organization WTO. Despite the increased protectionism that followed global trading system dubai crash, traditional trade barriers, such as tariffs, are at historical lows. Despite this, the flow of goods and services between countries remains one of the most global trading system dubai drivers of job creation and prosperity, and its sluggish pace is prompting anxiety.

The real untapped potential for further trade growth lies in regulation. Meeting these formidable, complex and often opaque rules requires financial and technical resources, which means that the smallest and most vulnerable companies and countries pay the heftiest price. While these measures and other regulations are legitimate, the sheer number of them continues to fragment trade.

And we can expect the importance of regulation — particularly when related to public health, safety and the environment — to increase in the future, increasing costs to trade as they do so.

This chart shows the percentage of exports from each of the 48 least developed countries into advanced, G20 countries that are affected by non-tariff measures in red and traditional tariffs blue. Protests against trade deals quickly erupt if governments are perceived to be endangering the good of the public or the environment for better trade deals.

This is the new frontier in the global trade agenda. Trade policy cannot question the right of countries to protect their citizens and promote sustainable development. But trade policy can, and must, guide how countries exercise this right. The manner in which a country implements its regulatory choices, and the way it operates its regulations, is not a free-for-all — especially global trading system dubai it frustrates the attainment of sustainable development through trade by other countries, global trading system dubai the poorest countries.

The transparency of existing regulations needs to be increased. UNCTAD is leading an international effort to collect and freely disseminate comprehensive data on currently imposed non-tariff measures. These efforts go hand-in-hand global trading system dubai capacity building.

The international trade community should increasingly embrace i nternational standards. This will simplify unnecessary regulatory hurdles, especially for developing countries. By promoting the use of international standards at home, countries also help their companies to integrate into global value chains.

And since international standards usually embed global best practices, the increased uptake of such standards can help promote sustainable development. Meanwhile, regional trade blocs should push for more regional regulatory convergencefinding common answers to address their regulatory needs. Regional regulatory convergence should therefore be seen as a stepping stone for global convergence. Countries can and should do much better in avoiding unnecessary red tape for trade in national regulatory processes.

But the effective and efficient application of these principles is broadly missing. Regulatory measures disproportionately affect trade in developing countries, so we need to strengthen their participation in international standard-setting bodies.

Technical cooperation and capacity building needs to be increased to help these countries comply with regulatory requirements and reduce procedural obstacles. What's it all about? Despite repeated promises by governments that potential trade deals will not compromise on public health or environmental protection, many remain suspicious. The backlash against globalization and a growing mistrust of elites mean that the argument of "trust me, it won't happen" is not winning a lot of hearts and minds.

To be global trading system dubai, a different approach is needed. More of the same, in terms of simply reducing barriers and other trade restrictions in a rather linear fashion, is no longer going to cut it politically. Nor is it even appropriate in the case of most non-tariff measures, considering that their objectives are legitimate. Such measures cannot be traded off for trade efficiency. Managing regulatory measures differently, without putting in question their legitimate objectives, means that we can keep trade open and push future trade growth while protecting citizens, and the environment too.

Only then, combined with complementary policies, can we ensure that trade retains both its credibility and its rightful place as one of the most important drivers of jobs and incomes. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. By continuing to use our site, you are global trading system dubai to our use of cookies. Global trading system dubai Agenda International Trade and Investment Global Governance 5 ways to make global trade work for developing countries Nearly half of Cambodia's exports are affected by non-tariff measures.

Here is what you need to know about the US-China trade dispute 06 Apr Which countries spend most on healthcare and do they get value for money? Robin Bowman 06 Apr More on the agenda. Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis. A new frontier for trade.

To move in this direction, five concerted actions are critical: International Trade and Investment View all. Africa has a new free trade area. Beware the fragility of the global economy Alberto Gallo 23 Mar