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About E15

The E15Initiative convenes world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development.

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The past few years have seen the emergence of a complex landscape of bilateral and regional trade and investment agreements. Over 432 RTAs have been notified to the WTO and there are 3,196 international investment agreements contained in trade agreements. Moreover, at least 30 new RTAs, involving more than 110 countries, are currently under negotiation with some “mega-regional agreements” poised to usher in a new order in international economic governance.

In addition, deadlock in the WTO’s Doha Development Round over the past decade has reduced the global trade system’s ability to respond to new and emerging trade and development challenges, between growing international investment needs and the explosive servicification and digitalisation of the economy, in tandem with policy imperatives around climate action, biodiversity and health of marine life, and food security. It is also crucial for the global trade and investment system to align with the international community’s decisions on the 2030 Agenda and anchored around 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as with recent agreements on financing for development and climate change.

In response to the above, ICTSD launched the E15Initiative (E15) in 2011. Since then, ICTSD and the World Economic Forum launched a dialogue around the world, bringing together 16 partnering institutions and more than 375 leading international experts in over 80 interactive multi-stakeholder dialoguesThe process has stimulated a fresh, strategic look at key challenges and opportunities for the global trade and investment system, and has focused on improving its efficacy, fairness, and inclusiveness as well as its ability to promote sustainable development.

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Jointly implemented by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative was established to convene world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business, and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development.

In 2017, the initiative is engaging policymakers and experts in dialogues that aim to address knowledge gaps arising from negotiations ahead of the Eleventh Ministerial Conference and beyond, informed by the recommendations produced by the E15 expert groups.

ENGAGEMENT, POLICY OUTREACH AND DELIVERY

The E15Initiative (E15) has helped to focus and align the top global experts on trade and investment through a series of more than 80 meetings and in the development of substantive policy options, which serve to provide an open source repository of systemic analysis and options for the future.

The E15Initiative launched a comprehensive set of policy options for the evolution of the global trade and investment system to 2025 at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos 2016.

The E15 delivered:

  1. A Synthesis Report summarising and interpreting the significance of the expert group proposals in relation to eight critical imperatives faced by policymakers, business leaders and society at large. It draws directly from expert group think pieces and policy options papers.
  2. A comprehensive set of policy options for strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development, derived from the proceedings of 14 thematic expert groups and three task forces between 2012 and 2015 (explore the full list of E15 themes).
  3. Summaries of the policy options.

In 2017, ICTSD and the World Economic Forum are focusing on bridging between innovative proposals stemming from the E15Initiative, business demand, societal expectations and governmental realities, to deliver sustainable development.

Policy work will proceed in two ways:

  • Together, ICTSD and the World Economic Forum will maximise dialogue on the outputs of the E15Initiative in Geneva and in key capitals around the world.
  • Working in close collaboration, ICTSD and the World Economic Forum will drive further development of a subset of topics with the greatest potential mid-term growth and development impact, including digital trade and investment policy.

PARTNERSHIPS

E15 Knowledge Partners include the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) in Washington; the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); the World Trade Institute (WTI); the Evian [email protected]Chatham House; the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES); the Swedish National Board of Trade; the National School of Development, Peking UniversityInternational Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)Climate Strategies; the Graduate Institute, GenevaBruegel; the European University InstituteCenter for International Development at Harvard University; and the Southern Voice on Post-MDG International Development Goals. As knowledge partners and co-conveners, these organisations co-managed the work under the expert groups and provide deep expertise on thematic issues.

REPORTS

The E15Initiative Interim Update provides a preliminary overview of the challenges being considered as well as potential responses being detailed and tested. The document is structured into five sections – New Economy, Global Supply Networks, Resources, Sustainable Development, System Reform. – within which the aforementioned fifteen thematic groups and three task forces fall.

The E15 Steering Board provides overall strategic advice and guidance, review progress and makes recommendations for future evolution. Its members currently include:

Jonathan Fried

Coordinator, International Economic Relations, Global Affairs Canada (Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the WTO)

Paul Polman

Chief Executive Office, Unilever

Nils Smedegaard Andersen

Non-Executive Director, BP (Former Group Chief Executive Officer, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S)

Mark Weinberger

Global Chairman and Chief Executive Office, EY

Ernesto Zedillo

Director, Yale Centre for the Study of Globalization (Former President of Mexico)

Richard Samans

Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz

Chief Executive, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

E15Initiative Directors are Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, ICTSD, and Richard Samans, World Economic Forum. The E15 is jointly implemented by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum through a joint project team including:

Harsha Vardhana Singh

Senior Associate for Strategic Research and Policy Analysis, ICTSD and former WTO Deputy Director-General, acted as E15 Knowledge Manager to ensure the work product across the groups is of the highest quality.

Marie Chamay

Director of Strategic Initiatives, ICTSD

Emily Bloom

Project Officer, E15Initiative, ICTSD

Fabrice Lehmann

E15 Editor, ICTSD

Rashmi Jose

Senior Programme Officer, Investment and Regulatory Systems, ICTSD

Kate Ziemba (2014-2015)

Junior Programme Officer - Communications, E15Initiative, ICTSD

Sean Doherty

Head of International Trade & Investment, World Economic Forum

Cristian Rodriguez Chiffelle

Lead of International Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum

Katarina Hruba

Senior Associate, World Economic Forum

Francesca Bianchi

Project Specialist, International Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum

For general inquiries about the E15Initiative or to request an interview with one of our experts, please contact:

Marie Chamay

Director of Strategic Initiatives, ICTSD

International Environment House 2, Chemin de Balexert 7-9

1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

(+41) 22 917 883

[email protected]

China and the G20 Summit

Ministry of Commerce People's Republic of China August 16, 2016

E15 Initiative Report Launch

Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) July 13, 2016

China and the G20 Summit

China Daily June 23, 2016

The E15 at the World Economic Forum Regional Summit in Africa 2016

Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) May 11, 2016

The E15 Initiative Washington Launch

Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) March 9, 2016

WTI researcher participates in E15 Initiative briefing at WTO in Geneva

World Trade Institute (WTI) February 23, 2016

E15 Initiative: General Briefing

Fondation Pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International (FERDI) February 23, 2016

Reduce investment uncertainty to boost global trade

The Independent January 24, 2016

No trade without growth

The Hindu Business Line January 24, 2016

Des experts tentent de renforcer le commerce mondial à Davos

Renmin Ribao January 23, 2016

Davos 2016: Proposals for Strengthening the Global Trade and Investment System

Caribbean Trade Law and Development January 23, 2016

World Economic Forum: Experts Launch Bid to Strengthen Global Trade at Davos

MondoVisione January 22, 2016

Reduce investment uncertainty to boost global trade: Report

The Economic Times January 22, 2016

Global Trade Rules Need to Catch Up with the Digital Economy

GHY International January 22, 2016

Work by OceanCanada Research Director, Dr. Rashid Sumaila presented at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

OceanCanada January 22, 2016

eBay Participates in World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

eBay Main Street January 22, 2016

Experts launch bid to strengthen global trade at Davos

eTurboNews January 22, 2016

Experts launch bid to strengthen global trade at Davos

Xinhuanet January 22, 2016

Top US Trade Official Defends Exclusion of Climate Change from Trans-Pacific Partnership

International Business Times January 22, 2016

TPP facing rough year ahead

POLITICO January 22, 2016

Cruz talks Title II on the campaign trail

POLITICO January 22, 2016

Much ado about TPP

POLITICO January 21, 2016

Dean Najam Participates in WEF Global Agenda Summit

Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University October 27, 2015

The E15 Task Force on Investment Policy

Columbia Center on Sustainable Development August 10, 2015

USCIB Defends Investor Dispute System at World Economic Forum

United States Council for International Business (USCIB) March 25, 2015

Bold Action Required on Renewal of the Information Technology Agreement During APEC Summit

HuffPost Business January 8, 2015