New multilateralism will balance linkages between trade & development: CUTS International – Economic Times

NEW DELHI: International trade should not be looked in isolation and not just in terms of their volume and value but in respect to its linkages with developmental concerns, particularly in regard to access to basic needs, according to Pradeep Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International.

He was moderating a webinar on Wednesday titled “What would happen to a world without the WTO?” with speakers representing various regions of Africa.

“It is time to take a closer and a more holistic look at the linkages between trade and sustainable development by putting equal emphasis on their economy, equity and environmental dimensions. It should not be a sanctions-based approach but should emphasise on arriving at a positive, forward-looking agenda with social safety nets as its central theme,” Mehta underlined.

According to Erastus Mwencha, Chairman, TradeMark East Africa and former Deputy Chairman of the African Union Commission, “We really need to interrogate the whole process of the functioning of the WTO. That will help us having a better understanding of why there are so much of systemic challenges.” “We need to reinvent the WTO through structural transformation so as to derive better values out of it through a more balanced but faster decision-making process. This is an imperative in the post-Covid world. We need a better global leadership,” he added.

Magda Shahin, Professor and Director of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in