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Meeting: Restoring Multilateral Cooperation

Prof Bernard Hoekman at the 2013 World Economic Forum. Prof Bernard Hoekman at the 2013 World Economic Forum. Photo © WEF/ Ries

  • Location: Johannesburg

SAIIA hosted a panel discussion on 11 June 2014, addressed by Professor Bernard Hoekman, Programme Director of Global Economics at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy on ‘Restoring Multilateral Trade Cooperation’. Professor Hoekman’s presentation was followed by responses from a panel of international experts. The South African Department of Trade and Industry presented Special Remarks responding to the presentations and discussion.

Click here to view photos of the event on Facebook. To view the lively Twitter conversation of the event, use #YourWTO.

Download Professor Hoekman's presentation, icon Supply Chains, Mega-Regionals and the WTO: A Road Map for the WTO (621.26 kB)

Download Uri Dadush's presentation, icon Dadush Mega-Regionals, The WTO, and country response (437.14 kB)

Event background

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) is coordinating a new project exploring how multilateral trade negotiations can be revitalised to overcome both existing and emerging challenges. As the World Trade Organization (WTO) enters a period of readjustment after the Bali deal, there is a need to search for new ideas that can assist in revitalising multilateral trade negotiations and which respond to emerging trends in global trade, such as the rise of megaregional groups and the growth of global value chains. This project, coordinated by SAIIA in partnership with the World Bank and a network of key developing world think tanks, aims to assist in this process by convening a series of expert dialogues in developing countries, and producing outputs that feed into evolving multilateral negotiations.

The project commenced with a Roundtable in South Korea, which explored trends in trade cooperation and their implications for the WTO. Discussions continued at a recently concluded Roundtable in Brazil which explored agricultural issues, the impact of megaregionals and plurilaterals on multilateral discussions, and new issues such as exchange rates and energy concerns. Following the South African Roundtable, it is envisaged that further Roundtables will be held in Bangladesh and China, or Turkey.

Additional information and materials are available on a dedicated section of SAIIA's specialised trade website, the Trade Beat.

The South African programme will comprise this closed event on 11 June and a closed Roundtable on 12 and 13 June in Johannesburg, followed by a press conference. At this public event Professor Bernard Hoekman, Programme Director, Global Economics at the European University Institute in Florence, will present a report on the South Korean Roundtable, followed by responses from international experts involved in the project, including comments on the Brazil Roundtable (the report on which is being finalised).

On behalf of SAIIA, and our partners in this project, we would be delighted if you could join us at this public event the presentations and discussions.

Speaker Biography

Professor Bernard Hoekman is the Programme Director, Global Economics at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.  Bernard Professor Hoekman’s prior positions include Director of the International Trade Department and Research Manager in the Development Research Group of the World Bank and economist in the GATT Secretariat. A graduate of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, he obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is a CEPR Research Fellow and a Senior Associate of the Economic Research Forum for the Arab countries, Turkey and Iran. Other positions include Chairperson, Global Agenda Council on Logistics & Supply Chain Systems, World Economic Forum.

Event details

Venue: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Time:   17h30 - 19h30


17h00    Arrivals and Registration
17h30    Welcome by SAIIA
17h40    Presentation by Professor Bernard Hoekman (European University Institute)
18h10    Panel Response
             Ambassador Frederick Agah (Deputy Director General: WTO)
             Dick Cunningham (Chairman: Cordell Hull Institute)
             Joshua Setipa (former Counsellor for African Affairs in WTO Director General Lamy’s office)
18h40    Q&A session
19h10    Special Remarks by Department of Trade and Industry
19h25    Vote of thanks by SAIIA
19h30    Buffet/cocktail dinner

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