The Future of Trade Policy: A Growing Role for the South | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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Watch the video of the Trade Policy event:



Update: Please see the follow-up article, Are Emerging Economies Center Stage in Trade? on the World Bank's Trade website to learn more about the discussion as well as related links.

This event was one of the official Program of Seminars that took place during the 2011 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

The debate is also part of an ongoing series of Global and Regional Development Debates that provide a platform for capturing, distilling, and disseminating knowledge on current cross-cutting topics.

The Doha development round of trade negotiations has failed so far to deliver its promise. Developed and emerging countries are claiming the other side bears responsibility for not putting on the table substantial offers. Wherever responsibilities may lie, an inescapable fact is the growing influence of emerging nations in the global trade arena. By fueling global trade growth in recent years, the impact of the 2008 crisis was dampened.

Panelists discussed the "quiet trade policy diplomacy" of the growing economic power houses and its impact on other developing economies. Emerging economies are active trade policy reformers using preferential regimes, bilateral relations and lowering transaction costs; as a result South-South trade has grown faster than average, but protection remains higher in the South. The roundtable also led to a reflection on what the new balance of power means for future multilateral and regional cooperation on trade.

Key questions discussed included:  

  • What is the impact and current role of emerging economies on trade policies? Should emerging countries keep such levels or consider a full embrace of freer trade? 
  • What could be the contribution of BRICs to a "development package" for LDCs to help salvage the Doha trade negotiations? Can BRICs offer duty and quota free access to their markets and move from large net importers of commodities from LDCs to allowing these countries to export manufactures? What are the prospects for trade agreements between the BRICs and major OECD nations such as the EU, which has made regional approaches a more prominent pillar of its trade strategy? 
  • Is this a policy area where unilateral or minilateral action (for example the G-20) holds greater promise? 


Moderator: Zanny Minton Beddoes, Economics Editor, The Economist, United States 

Zanny Minton Beddoes is The Economist’s Economics Editor, based in Washington, DC. She oversees the magazine’s global economics coverage, managing a team of writers around the world. Before moving to Washington in April 1996, Ms. Minton Beddoes was The Economist’s emerging-markets correspondent based in London. She traveled extensively in Latin America and Eastern Europe, writing editorials and country analyses. She has written surveys of the world economy, Latin American finance, global finance, and Central Asia. Ms. Minton Beddoes joined The Economist in 1994 after spending two years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she worked on macroeconomic adjustment programs in Africa and the transition economies of Eastern Europe. Before joining the IMF, she worked as an adviser to the Minister of Finance in Poland, as part of a small group headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard University. Ms. Minton Beddoes has written extensively about international financial issues including enlargement of the European Union, the future of the International Monetary Fund, and economic reform in emerging economies. She has published in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, contributed chapters to several conference volumes and, in 1997, edited Emerging Asia, a book on the future of emerging-markets in Asia, published by the Asian Development Bank. In May 1998 she testified before Congress on the introduction of the Euro. Ms. Minton Beddoes is a regular television and radio commentator (“Tucker Carlson Unfiltered” on PBS, “Marketplace” on NPR, also CNN, PBS, and CNBC). She is a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Committee for Economic Development. She holds an undergraduate degree from Oxford University and a master’s degree from Harvard University.


Celso Lafer, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of São Paulo; and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brazil

Since 1988, Celso Lafer has been  full professor at the Faculty of Law, University of São Paulo (USP), where he studied and he has taught since 1971 (International Law and Philosophy of Law).  He earned a master’s and doctorate at Cornell University in Political Science (MA 1967, PhD 1970) and became professor in Public International Law at the Faculty of Law of USP (1977).  He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (elected 2004) and the Brazilian Academy of Letters (elected 2006). He was Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1992 and again in 2001 and 2002, and Minister of Development, Industry and Commerce in 1999.  From 1995 to 1998 he was Ambassador, Head of Permanent Mission of Brazil at the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in Geneva.  In the WTO, he was Chairman of the Dispute Settlement Body (1996) and the General Council (1997). In  2002 he received the highest award for science and technology in Brazil, the National Order of Scientific Merit.  He is Doctor honoris causa from the University of Buenos Aires (2001) and the National University of Cordoba, Argentina (2002), and in 2001 he received the Mill Santos Award in the area of International Relations. He is the author of several books, among them The Reconstruction of Human Rights, a dialogue with the thought of Hannah Arendt (1988); Challenges: Ethics and Politics (1995), Trade, Disarmament, Human Rights - Reflections on a diplomatic experience (1999); Program Goals and JK (1956-1961) - The process of planning and political system in Brazil (2002), The Internationalization of Human Rights: the Constitution, International Relations and Racism (2005), co-authored with Alberto Filippi, and The presence of Bobbio - Spanish America, Brazil, Iberia (2004).

Mike Moore, Ambassador to the United States, New Zealand; former Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO); and former Prime Minister of New Zealand 

Mike Moore is New Zealand's Ambassador to the United States. He is a former Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) where he oversaw the launch of the Doha Development Round. His period in office saw the successful accession to the WTO of China and Chinese Taipei along with Albania, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Jordan, Lithuania, Moldova, and Oman. The Ambassador is a former Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. He has held portfolios in a wide range of areas and served in a number of senior political positions including Trade Minister, Foreign Minister, Minister of Tourism, Minister for the America's Cup, and Deputy Minister of Finance. Mr. Moore worked as a meat and construction worker, and a printer, where he became an active Trade Unionist. He became a social worker in a hospital for the criminally insane – an experience he claims "prepared him well for a life in politics." Mr. Moore held numerous appointments and board memberships with global policy and commercial organizations. These included Membership of the United Nations Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor, Commissioner for the UN Global Commission on International Migration, and a number of private sector boards. He served on the Economic Development Board of South Australia, and was an advisor to other Governments. Ambassador Moore is also a Trilateral Commission member and a member of the Privy Council. Mr. Moore was an Adjunct Professor at Adelaide University, Australia, and La Trobe University, Australia, is Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai, Honorary Professor at the Chinese University for Political Science and International Law in Beijing, and Honorary Professor, Shanghai Customs College. He is the recipient of numerous honors from governments in Africa, Europe, and South America. The Ambassador has been awarded New Zealand’s highest honor, the Order of New Zealand. Mr. Moore also holds honorary doctorates in commerce from Lincoln University, New Zealand; in economics from the People’s University of China, Beijing; in commerce from Auckland University of Technology and Canterbury University, and law from La Trobe University in Australia. He is the author of ten books including: A Pacific Parliament; Hard Labour, Fighting For New Zealand; Children of the Poor; A Brief History of the Future, and A World Without Walls. Mr. Moore’s latest book, Saving Globalisation, was published by Wiley’s in 2009. Mr. Moore is the founder of a New Zealand Charity “School Aid” which creates investment funds that are managed by high school students, the profits of which will go to schools in developing countries.

Arvind Subramanian, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Center for Global Development, United States 

Arvind Subramanian, an Indian national, is Senior Fellow jointly at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Center for Global Development. He was assistant director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund. During his career at the Fund, he worked on trade, development, Africa, India, and the Middle East. He served at the GATT (1988–92) during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations and taught at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (1999–2000), and at Johns Hopkins' School for Advanced International Studies (2008–10). He has written on growth, trade, development, institutions, aid, oil, India, Africa, the WTO, and intellectual property. He has published widely in academic and other journals, including the American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Development Economics, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, International Monetary Fund Staff Papers, Foreign Affairs, World Economy, and Economic and Political Weekly. He has also published or been cited in leading magazines and newspapers, including the Economist, Financial Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and New York Review of Books. He has been interviewed on PBS' Charlie Rose Show and is a columnist for India's leading financial daily, Business Standard. He advises the Indian government in different capacities, including as a member of the Finance Minister's Expert Group on the G-20. His book, India's Turn: Understanding the Economic Transformation, was published in 2008 by Oxford University Press. His book, Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance, is forthcoming fall 2011. He is co-editor of Efficiency, Equity, and Legitimacy: The Multilateral Trading System at the Millennium with Roger Porter and Pierre Sauvé (Brookings/Harvard University Press, 2002). He obtained his undergraduate degree from St. Stephens College, Delhi; his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmadabad, India; and his M.Phil and D.Phil from the University of Oxford, UK.

Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times, United Kingdom

Martin Wolf is Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times, London, United Kingdom. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 "for services to financial journalism." Mr. Wolf is an associate member of the governing body of Nuffield College, Oxford; honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University; an honorary fellow of the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy (Oxonia); and a special professor at the University of Nottingham. He has been a forum fellow at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos since 1999 and a member of its International Media Council since 2006. He was made a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, by Nottingham University in July 2006. He was made a Doctor of Science (Economics) of London University, honoris causa, by the London School of Economics in December 2006. Mr. Wolf was joint winner of the Wincott Foundation senior prize for excellence in financial journalism for 1989 and 1997. He won the RTZ David Watt memorial prize for 1994, the “Accenture Decade of Excellence” at the Business Journalist of the Year Awards of 2003, and the Newspaper Feature of the Year Award at the Workworld Media Awards 2003. On December 1, 2005 he was given First Magazine’s “Special Advocacy Award” at its annual “Award for Responsible Capitalism.” In January 2008, he won the AMEC Lifetime Achievement Award at the Workworld Media Awards for 2007. He came in second equal in the Royal Statistical Society’s awards for statistical excellence in journalism for 2008, in the category for print and online journalism. He won the “Commentator of the Year” award at the Business Journalist of the Year Awards of 2008. He was also placed among the world’s 100 leading public policy intellectuals by the British magazine Prospect and the US magazine, Foreign Policy in May 2008. He won the Ludwig Erhard Prize in 2009. He won the “Commentariat of the Year” prize at the inaugural UK Comment Awards in October 2009, and was joint winner of the 2009 award for columns in “giant newspapers” at the 15th annual Best in Business Journalism competition of The Society of American Business Editors and Writers. His most recent publications are Why Globalization Works (Yale University Press, 2004) and Fixing Global Finance (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008 and Yale University Press, 2009).

Ernesto Zedillo, Director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Yale University, United States

Ernesto Zedillo is the Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; Professor in the Field of International Economics and Politics; Professor of International and Area Studies; and Professor Adjunct of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the School of Economics of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Yale University. He was a Professor at the National Polytechnic Institute and El Colegio de Mexico. From 1978-87 he was with the Central Bank of Mexico; from 1987-88 he served the National Government of Mexico as Undersecretary of Budget; from 1988-1992 as Secretary of Economic Programming and Budget Education; and was appointed Secretary of Education in 1992. He served as President of Mexico from 1994-2000. Since leaving office in 2000, Ernesto Zedillo has been a leading voice on globalization, especially its impact on relations between developed and developing nations.