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Platforms Shaping the Future of Trade and Global Economic Interdependence
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Shaping the Future of Trade and Global Economic Interdependence

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Trade for Tomorrow

A call to action to make trade work for all

This call to action has been developed by the World Economic Forum’s Trade and Investment Leadership Group, Action Group and Future Council.

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We believe trade and investment support human development and that a global recovery can be built upon a trade recovery. Governments must creatively re-engage on trade reform and refrain from protectionism.

Trade and investment empower people to exchange goods and services, find rewarding employment, enjoy consumer benefits and grow successful businesses. Trade and investment must support development.

Through jointly upholding environmental and social standards, trade cooperation should prevent a race to the bottom and avoid harmful distortions to markets for goods and services.

Trade cooperation should be complemented by broader policies that support equitable outcomes, notably for women, domestically and internationally, recognizing that trade and investment shocks have significant effects on livelihoods. This includes cooperation on tax and competition regulation as well as migration and labour conditions.

International public-private cooperation should foster a resilient, efficient and inclusive trading system, building stable and coherent processes, supported by robust aid-for-trade technical assistance and capacity-building.

We call upon leaders to, by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2021:

1. Strengthen healthcare access by lowering tariff and administrative barriers to trade in inputs and final products, facilitating global manufacturing investment, improving supply chain transparency, removing export restraints, and reviewing the links between intellectual property rights and access to lifesaving technologies;

2. Conclude a meaningful electronic commerce agreement that improves access and interoperability, enables safe and efficient digital trade and data flows, promotes openness and trust and addresses market access issues;

3. Conclude a meaningful investment facilitation for development agreement that improves transparency and predictability, streamlines administrative procedures, reduces disputes and enhances sustainable investment;

4. Advance meaningful environmental agreements, delivering a robust agreement on fisheries subsidies by July 2021 and reducing siloes between trade, environment and development policymaking by aligning trade action with COP26 outcomes;

5. Commit to effective oversight and implementation of commitments, employing public-private cooperation, with special attention to the needs of women, MSMEs and developing countries in dealing with non-tariff barriers.

Further, we urge leaders to engage in open and ambitious dialogue on:

6. Trade system reforms, particularly with regards to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, the role of the WTO in a diverse trade architecture and the functions of the secretariat;

7. Resolving level-playing-field concerns with respect to subsidies, state-owned enterprises, trade remedies and government procurement across industrial, agriculture and service sectors.

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