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APRN Conducts Research Conference on Trade and Development

Research network addresses concerns of the WTO and neo-liberal trade policies on developing countries


The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) conducted a Research Conference on Trade and Development on March 20-21 in Bali, Indonesia.  The conference focused on how the World Trade Organization (WTO) and neoliberal trade shaped the economies of developing countries. The main objectives of the research conference are to update on the impacts of the WTO and trade liberalization, to explore the possible implications of a new agreement in the Bali Ministerial and develop policy proposals for trade regime that will serve the people.  Full story can be found below.




Country-level research papers from China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Philippines presented the impacts of WTO and trade liberalization to their economy and the people as well as the possible implications of a new agreement.

Several panel discussions on how the promoters of neoliberal trade are pushing their agenda to developing countries were also held. The panel discussion on the Outstanding Issues on the WTO discussed the contentious issues in negotiations on agriculture, finance and investments, and intellectual property. Meanwhile, the panels on the revival of trade liberalization within and outside WTO expounded on the mechanisms that are being used to forward neoliberal trade. Because of the impasse in the Doha  Round Negotiations, the promoters of neoliberal trade are finding ways to revive their agenda within the WTO through the promotion of greening trade, trade facilitation, and global value chains, and outside WTO through brokering bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements such as the TransPacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
 
Two frameworks to possibly guide the identification of the key principles of a trade regime that will serve the people were also discussed. One is the Bandung Principle on Development Cooperation and the other one is the Goal 8 of the Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development (CPGSD) which is on the need for a New Trade, Monetary and Financial Architecture.
 
In the simultaneous workshops on Agriculture, Industry and Natural Resources, and Services, the participants shared their experiences on how WTO and trade liberalization policies have affected their country. Among the recommendations that were made was to conduct more researches on the impacts of WTO and to conduct awareness-raising actions on the impacts of WTO and the possible implications of a new agreement. As for the principles that will guide the framework of a trade regime that will serve the people, one suggestion was to look at the principles that guide the food sovereignty aside from the Bandung principles and Goal 8 of CPGSD

More information about the conference will be available at the APRN Newsletter First Quarter 2013 issue

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The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) is a network of leading research NGOs in the Asia-Pacific. It is active in promoting exchange, coordination and capacity building support in research.


Posted by Karibu Foundation - Last updated 05.04.2013