The WTO: A Driver for Inclusive Trade, Growth and Development

Open, rules-based and fair trade promotes prosperity worldwide. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines the crucial importance of trade for inclusive development. But not everybody has benefitted sufficiently from globalization yet. In particular small and medium enterprises still struggle to access global markets. We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that trade works for all. As Director General of the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevêdo recently pointed out trade and investment are increasingly interconnected. The WTO plays a crucial part in this. MC11 should pave the way for a modern trade and investment (T&I) agenda.

B20 Recommendations: Make MC11 a success

  1. Strengthen an open and inclusive global trading system: Inclusiveness of trade has to be strengthened so that everyone has the opportunity to benefit of its vast advantages. The WTO is the best way to ensure free and fair trade. MC11 is an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a fu-ture-oriented multilateral trade agenda. Business needs rules for 21st century trade and investment that strengthen the WTO and the rules-based multilateral system. The WTO monitoring and reports should be reinforced and refined.
  2. Remove market distortions and reduce state interventions: Trade and investment need to flow freely. Competition needs to be rules-based and fair. MC11 should pave the ground for advancing market access in all sectors and for removing market distortions, including those that limit trade in food and agriculture. We need to tackle government intervention such as support measures and other forms of market distortion by governments and related institutions.
  3. Adapt trade rules to the digital age: The G20 should instigate a WTO working group on digital trade at MC11, which should address free cross-border data flows, trade in digital products and services, trade facilitation, regulatory coherence, and other identified legal gaps. Digital trade can substantially facilitate the participation of MSMEs and developing countries in global value creation.
  4. Support sustainable investment facilitation: FDI plays an important role for development. The G20 should enhance international support programs for investment in developing countries to meet the SDGs. WTO member should agree at MC11 to put Investment Facilitation on the future agenda.
  5. Uphold the WTO Dispute Settlement System: The WTO dispute settlement system is a central pillar of the international trade regime. It guarantees that obligations from international agreements can be enforced when one of the signatories fails to comply with such obligations. At MC11, the G20 must promote that the system is not undermined but rather improved further.

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Source: B20 Argentina