World Trade Organization: Disenchantment Sets In

Hong Kong made its name as a trading territory, despite the gloomy prospects, can it inspire today’s trade warriors to pull down more barriers to free trade? Sadly the decisions on success or failure may rest on faraway domestic calculations.

The World Today
4 minute READ

David Woods

Managing Director, World Trade Agenda Consultants, Geneva

Ministerial meetings to the World Trade Organization are never easy. They range from the bad tempered to the outright incendiary. Mutual understanding, solidarity and brotherhood are not often evident, and this month’s Hong Kong conference is unlikely to break that mould. At this stage, it is impossible to know what will be achieved – prospects alter almost daily. As a minimum, ministers will want some kind of advance on what has already been secured in four years of Doha Round negotiations.

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