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The multilateral trade system under stress

Charting Asia's path forward

The volume aims to examine questions surrounding the shifts occurring to the current multilateral framework and propose answers that can enrich current policy dialogues on free trade and the limits to multilateralism. Current developments and supranational responses to the challenges faced by the dominant multilateral trading system are discussed with special focus on the proposals for reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO). Asia’s role and country responses from leading economies in the region are also presented and discussed. It brings with it the need to revitalize multilateralism, upholding a cooperative international system that facilitates the achievement of common goals.

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The hyperglobalized era is increasingly defined by financial insecurity and economic polarization. In particular, increased disagreement over trade rules, currency movements and technological flows threaten to further deteriorate the state of the global economy. The current developments paint a grim global economic perspective leading some observers to point out that the dominant multilateral system is failing to provide both the resources and coordination necessary to stabilize markets, foster a healthy investment climate and create a financial future that works for all.


Does the current multilateral trade system still serve its purpose amidst the erosion of political trust, widening income gaps and a policy agenda that appears to favour hyper globalizations’ winners? If not, then how do we rebuild trade multilateralism based on collective action and shared responsibility? How will Asia position itself in the midst of these shifts?




Rabea BRAUER, Cristita Marie PEREZ


German-Asian economic relations



Prospects on revitalizing the multilateral trade system: Proposals on WTO reform



Challenges to the WTO dispute settlement reform



Revitalizing multilateralism: A new world order?

Saon RAY


China’s role in WTO reforms



Global trade developments and India’s response

Sharmila KANTHA


Singapore’s pursuit of free trade

Lurong CHEN


Taiwan’s participation in the World Trade Organization - strategy, interests and prospects

Kristy HSU


Vietnam’s international trade and investment: opportunities and challenges

PHAM The Anh


Fostering regional growth and innovation in the midst of economic and regulatory uncertainty: A case study of Asia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector


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Contact Person

Cristita Marie Perez

Cristita Marie Perez KAS

Senior Programme Manager, Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS) +81 3 6426 5041


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