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.

New Innovations in Regional Trade Agreements and the Role of the RTA Exchange

27 September 2016 , Room S2, WTO Headquarters - 17:30 - 19:00

On 27 September, ICTSD and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) organised a session at the WTO Public Forum to examine new innovations in regional trade agreements (RTAs) and analyse how they can inform the work being done at the multilateral level in order to promote more inclusive trade and economic growth. The workshop specifically looked at how new disciplines in RTAs are helping to promote small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), improve the functioning of global value chains (GVCs) and the interplay between trade and technology.

These disciplines can benefit the multilateral trading system, but to take advantage of best practices, governments, private sector leaders and policymakers need to engage in dialogue and information-sharing in a coordinated manner. Tools like the RTA Exchange – an initiative developed in the context of the E15Initiative’s Expert Group on Regional Trade Agreements – can help this process by facilitating the exchange of information and negotiating experiences, and promoting greater dialogue in order to identify ways in which best practices can be multilateralised, and where opportunities for cooperation and convergence exist.


  • Ricardo MELÉNDEZ-ORTIZ, Chief Executive, ICTSD


  • Bernard HOEKMAN, Professor and Director of Global Economics, European University Institute
  • Lucian CERNAT, Chief Trade Economist, European Commission
  • Theresa CARPENTER, Executive Director, Graduate Institute Geneva’s Centre for Trade and Economic Integration
  • Jonathan T. FRIED, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the WTO