Prospects for multilateral trade cooperation

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This section explores the relevance of current trade rules – as well as the need for new approaches to trade cooperation – in light of the forces that are currently re-shaping international trade. It suggests that the multilateral trading system will need to adjust to developments in trade and in the trading environment – as it has done repeatedly in the past – and reviews proposals for updating the WTO’s agenda and governance. The section starts with a short overview of key trade developments within the broader socio-economic context – especially the rise of global supply chains, the general shift of trade power away from the West and towards Asia and other emerging economies, as well as the changing nature, composition and direction of trade. It then highlights some of the main challenges facing the WTO and how they could be addressed.

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