Summary text prepared by the lead organizer of the session: Consumer Unity and Trust Society. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of UNCTAD.
Summary of deliberations:
The Bali Ministerial presents an opportunity to build confidence in the multilateral trading system. However there is a need to be cautious by not overloading the agenda in order to ensure positive outcomes. The aim should be decent, concrete and realistic outcomes.
There is general consensus that current investment regimes in the form of BITs and FTA chapters on investment etc. are not ideal especially for developing countries. Given that more than half such arrangements will soon expire, this is a good time to re-think the investment agreement model and ensure that equity and sustainability aspects are emphasized.
Investment reforms and solutions should be phased, that is first developing general principles encompassing good practices, without necessarily leading to a multilateral treaty.
The environmental and trade agendas can and should move towards convergence for inclusive development, e.g. through meaningful reform of subsidies for agriculture, fisheries and fossil fuels that will level the trade playing field as well as free up resources for investment towards green economy.
A step-by-step approach will be more appropriate for multilateral consensus building on trade and investment.
- H.E. Ms. Paivi Kairamo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, WTO and other International Organizations in Geneva
- Mr. Lucas Saronga, Acting Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations, WTO and other International Organizations in Geneva
- Mr. Shishir Priyadarshi, Director, Development Division, WTO, Geneva
- Ms. Anja von Moltke, Acting Head, Trade, Policy and Planning Unit, Economics and Trade Branch, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, United Nations Environment Programme
- Ms. Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Head, Investment Programme, International Institute on Sustainable Development, Geneva