The E15 engages key stakeholders – trade and investment policy makers, business and thought leaders – in policy dialogues in Geneva and around the world to explore and help validate ideas, align interests and strengthen the impetus for change.

Dialogues with WTO Delegates

MC8 Inception Meeting: ‘The Road Beyond Doha’

14 December 2011 , Geneva

This inception expert meeting was held at the margin of the eighth WTO Ministerial Conference at the permanent mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with a view to clarifying and discussing some of the most pressing issues that the multilateral trading system currently faces. It focused on two related topics, namely WTO institutional reform and preferential trade agreements. Following this first meeting the e15 initiative was formally launched at a press briefing convened with the Netherlands.

The WTO as an institution is not what it used to be a decade ago. Many countries have since joined, and shifts in the balance of global economic and political power have transformed the playing field. Accordingly, new needs and different expectations have emerged, including demands for institutional reform to increase the WTO’s efficiency, inclusiveness and transparency. In recent years, such demands have focused on the role of the regular WTO committees, the participation of the private sector and on the way in which negotiations are conducted.

Beyond the WTO, regional pacts have become a permanent and increasingly important feature of the world trading environment. Currently, more than half of world commerce takes place among countries linked by such pacts. Many agreements deal with matters that remain outside the WTO’s scope or capacity to address, such as rules pertaining to investment and competition policies. How to embrace and respond to this increasing number of regional and preferential trade agreements in the multilateral trading system and how these agreements could be more transparent, remains a critical question.