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World Trade Forum 2018

28 September 2018 @ 12:00 pm – 29 September 2018 @ 4:00 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
European University Institute - Badia Fiesolana
Via della Badia dei Roccettini
9, 50014 Fiesole FI
Robert Schuman Centre - Conference Unit

                                               PROGRAMME AND REGISTRATION



Live Streaming – World Trade Forum 2018

28 September︱13:30 hrs︱Opening remarks & Plenary Session I

The Backlash against Globalization: Implications for (Trade) Governance

Welcome: Brigid Laffan | European University Institute

Opening remarks:
Joseph Francois | World Trade Institute
Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute

Chair: Alan Beattie | Financial Times

Brigid Laffan | European University Institute
Paola Conconi | Free University of Brussels
Caroline Freund | World Bank
Lúcio Vinhas de Souza | European Commission

28 September︱17:30 hrs︱ Plenary Session II

Trade and Sustainability: Where are we? Can we get there? 

Matthias Helble | Asian Development Bank Institute

Gregoire Garsous | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Aik Hoe Lim | World Trade Organization
Arancha González | International Trade Centre
Joseph Francois | World Trade Institute and University of Bern

29 September︱11:00 hrs︱Plenary Session III

The WTO under Threat: Is Reform Needed? Is it Feasible? Options and Scenarios

Chair: Andreas Esche | Bertelsmann Stiftung

Xiankun Lu | UIBE and Wuhan University 
Pascal Lamy | Delors Institute 
Stormy-Annika Mildner | The Federation of German Industries 
Manfred Elsig | University of Bern and World Trade Institute

29 September︱15:30 hrs︱Plenary Session IV

Digital Trade Technologies, Services and Sustainable Development 

Bernard Hoekman | European University Institute

Marion Jansen | International Trade Centre
Erik van der Marel | European Centre for International Political Economy
Matteo Fiorini | European University Institute

Trade, Development and Sustainability

The multilateral trading system is under stress. Unilateral trade restricting actions by the US and retaliatory responses are one major sources of tension. Another is the refusal by the US to agree to new appointments to the WTO Appellate Body, threatening the ability of WTO members to settle trade disputes. In May 2018 President Macron called for major trading powers to reflect on desirable WTO reforms. Underlying many trade tensions are national policies motivated by economic development objectives. How to reconcile the need for governments to be able to pursue development goals with possible adverse effects on trading partners has long been a key challenge for the global trade regime. Another key challenge is to ensure trade is sustainable.

The 2018 World Trade Forum brings together leading trade practitioners and scholars, government officials, and representatives of international and nongovernmental organizations. Sessions will address the state of play in the WTO and global trade policy trends, external trade strategies of the EU, China and the United States, links between international integration and sustainable trade, measurement of sustainability and recent trade policy research. Every year, a book related to the World Trade Forum is published with Cambridge University Press. For 2018, the book project is managed by Cosimo Beverelli (WTO), Jürgen Kurtz (EUI) and Damian Räss (WTI).






Conference Papers

Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), Trade and Sustainable Development














Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), Trade and Sustainable Development, third flagship report of the United Nations Forum on Sustainable Standards 

Revitalizing Multilateral Governance at the World Trade Organization














Revitalizing Multilateral Governance at the World Trade Organization, Report of the High-Level Board of Experts on the Future of Global Trade Governance


Hye-Sung Kim, PhD














Acceptable Trade-offs between Economic Growth and Environmental ProtectionHye-Sung Kim, Withrop University and Youngchae Leey, University of Rochester, September 2018


The EU and the WTO













European Commission presents comprehensive approach for the modernisation of the World Trade Organisation, Concept Paper, European Commission, September 2018

Digital Trade Restrictiveness Index

Digital Trade Restrictiveness Index, Martina Francesca Ferracane, Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Erik van der Marel, European Centre for International Political Economy




The Effect of Environmental Provisions in Trade Agreements on International Trade, Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Jean-Frédéric Morin & Jakob Schwab, german Development Institute, Florence, 28 September 2018

Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), Trade and Sustainable DevelopmentSantiago Fernández de Córdoba, Senior Economist, UNCTAD, UNFSS Coordinator

Digital Trade Technologies, Services and Sustainable DevelopmentErik van der Marel, Senior Economist at ECIPE, Univesité Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) – Solvay Brussels School

Blockchain and International Trade: Preferential Utilization Rates for Exporters in Developing Countries and Implications for SDGs, Christine McDaniel, Hanna Norberg, Badri Narayanan