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Future of WTO Reform Initiatives Discussed in Forum

16 February 2023

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Jakarta, 16 February 2023: Strengthening the rules-based global trading system and promoting transparency and global competitiveness to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) were amongst the actions discussed in a high-level forum on The Future of WTO Reform Initiatives held in Jakarta. Called the ‘Trade Policy Advisory Group (TradePAG)’, the forum was hosted by Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and the International Trade Analysis and Policy Studies. It was attended online and in-person by ambassadors from Australia, South Africa, and the European Union.

Dr Kasan, Head of Trade Policy Agency of Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, and Dr Lili Yan Ing, ERIA’s Lead Advisor on Southeast Asia Region, delivered the opening remarks.

Prof Daniel Trefler, J. Douglas and Ruth Grant Chair in Competitiveness and Prosperity at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, proposed strengthening the rules-based global trading system, which includes documenting and analysing subsidies; improving the WTO working practices; and signing plurilateral agreements within the WTO. The second key expert, Dr Le Quang Lan, Director of the Market Integration Directorate of the ASEAN Secretariat, cited the role of ASEAN in WTO that includes promoting transparency, global competitiveness, and rules-based regimes. The third key expert, Dr Dandy Satria Iswara, Deputy II Permanent Representative/Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the UN, WTO, and other international organisations in Geneva, discussed Indonesia’s role in WTO reforms. The session was moderated by Dr Mohammad Dian Revindo, Associate Director of the Institute for Economic and Social Research, University of Indonesia.

The question-and-answer session covered issues such as dispute settlements, commitments, transparency, subsidies, and policy issues in promoting WTO reforms. The output of the TradePAG discussion forum will be a policy memo to Indonesia’s Minister of Trade and in-line ministries.

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