Think Tank (May to June 2019)
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament, Singapore, gave the opening remarks
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RSIS-WTO Parliamentarian Workshop 2019
11 Jun 2019

The Centre for Multilateralism Studies (CMS), RSIS, held the 10th RSIS-World Trade Organization (WTO) Parliamentarian Workshop from 11 to 13 June 2019. Co-sponsored by the Temasek Foundation and WTO, the capacity-building workshop saw 54 members of parliament from 22 economies across the Asia-Pacific region participating this year.

Following opening remarks by Singapore’s Speaker of Parliament Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, 10 expert panels shared insights on developments within the WTO and the wider multilateral trading system (MTS) as well as on the importance of these institutions.

Among the salient topics discussed throughout the workshop were the crisis within the WTO’s Appellate Body for dispute settlements; conflicts on Special and Differential Treatment; building a more equitable and fairer MTS, including for micro, small and medium enterprises; and progress in new trade rule-making, such as in e-commerce and fisheries subsidies. Other issues discussed were the insecurity-driven causes of global trade tensions — including those behind the US-China trade war — and their implications for the evolving global trade ecosystem, the prospects for successful WTO reforms, the benefits of trade for sustainable development, and the conflicts and complementarities between multilateral and faster, but smaller, regional trade agreements.

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