Workshop in Talloires

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Informal Brainstorming Workshop

“Quo Vadis for the LIDCs at the WTO”

A workshop, which took place in Talloires, France, on 15- 16 March 2018, provided the opportunity to start an informal dialogue between the Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) in searching for ways to relaunch multilateral inclusive trade negotiations aimed at producing results conducive for development. The discussion benefited from contributions from internationally renowned experts and delegates from the LIDCs’ missions in Geneva, acting in their personal capacities. The event was organized by the IDEAS Centre with the support of GIZ.

As members entered the period of reflection in the aftermath of the MC11 the Workshop was used to gather the views of participants concerning the future of the WTO negotiations and potential roles LIDCs could play therein, jointly or individually. In particular, the discussion touched upon strategic choices to be made by the LIDCs pertaining to the continuation, transformation or termination of the Doha Round; value of multilateralism for safeguarding the LIDCs’ interests; definition of development and differentiation between the developing WTO Members; approaches to be adopted in addressing the new issues on the WTO agenda (e-commerce, MSMES, domestic regulation in services, investment facilitation, fisheries among others); actions that could be taken by the developing countries to attract major WTO member countries to return to the negotiations table; and specific difficulties faced by the developing countries in the WTO. Concrete ways to make multilateral negotiations more productive, for instance, by ensuring closer involvement of ministers and experts in the capitals in development of the agenda of Ministerial Conferences to come, were also suggested.

IDEAS Centre would like to thank the participants for their valuable contribution to the discussions held during the workshop.