World Trade Organization: Are You Being Served?

Hong Kong may be one of Asia’s shopping paradises but will trade ministers who meet there in December put consumers top of their agenda? In many ways the World Trade Organization has to prove its relevance at this summit.

The World Today Published 1 November 2005 Updated 15 October 2020 4 minute READ

Shanker Singham

Managing Director, Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project Babson Global

Feelings of keen anticipation in the trade community about the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Hong Kong in December are perhaps not generally shared in the wider business or consumer world. Recent gatherings have been accompanied by protests and riots and the voices most often heard are those that see the Organization as the face of globalisation itself, a face regarded as neither friendly nor welcome.

So why is the Hong Kong meeting of such importance in the minds of trade ministries and governments? What can it deliver for consumers around the world, and above all, for the world’s poor, two billion of whom live on less than $2 a day?

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