E15 Initiative: Strengthening the International Trading System

In its 20th Anniversary year the WTO and multilateralism seem to be lacking the ability to address crucial issues such as investment, intellectual property, competition policy, e-commerce, are not being advanced. At the same time, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed in October 2015 between 12 countries and other ongoing large negotiations have generated enthusiasm about plurilateral and regional international trade and investment system. 

Businesses, NGOs and Governments are trying to understand what the implications are for them and how to translate this into ministerial and CEO-level priorities. 
In response to the above, the World Economic Forum and the ICTSD have launched the E15 initiative. This world's largest high-level brainstorming exercise aims to develop a set of policy options and promote strategic dialogue regarding the evolution of the international trading system by connecting the foremost experts and decision-makers from private, public and civil society sectors. 
So far, the E15 Initiative has engaged 400 experts across 18 thematic groups and has generated more than 200 policy options on different topics. 
Phase 2 will focus on packaging these into actionable reforms and roadmaps to deliver progress through greater engagement with decision-makers. 
Ultimately, the E15 initiative aims to move the trade and investment debate squarely into the 21st century. It will illuminate and support actions which lead to a stronger, more inclusive, efficient and sustainable global economy.


The goal is to bring a credible, actionable, and comprehensive set of policy options for the evolution of the global trade and investment system to 2025. 

In 2016, the initiative will engage policy makers and other target audiences in dialogues about the recommendations produced by the E15 expert groups. Small group conversations will also be organised to discuss policy options about the future of the global trade architecture.


Key Organizations

  • International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

Project Management

Sean Doherty, Head of International Trade and Investment
Tel: +41 22 8691212