Map of the Month

Membership of WTO Members in Plurilaterals or Joint Initiatives

by Dr. Olaf Wientzek, Cedric Amon

Map of the Month 11/2021

So-called plurilateral initiatives are discussions at the WTO in which only a part of its members are participating. They can i.a. aim at creating new rules or liberalising tariffs. Given the very difficult discussions on a multilateral level, in plurilateral initiatuves have been considered by many WTO members as crucial to reinvigorate trade cooperation at the WTO. Ongoing or concluded plurilateral initiatives focus on services domestic regulations, e-commerce, MSMEs, trade and gender, investment facilitation, environmental goods and government procurement. In addition - given that the WTO Appellate Body is currently blocked - 52 WTO members have agreed on a Multi-party interim appeal arbitration agreement (MPIA) which is an alternative system for resolving WTO disputes that are appealed by a WTO Member. As the map of the month map demonstrates, the vast majority of WTO members participates in at least one plurilateral initiative, some are taking part in all current plurilaterals.
A detailled description of all plurilateral initiatives, their scope, their members and an overview of key documents for each plurilateral can be found here.

Dr. Olaf Wientzek

Olaf Wientzek bild

Director of the Multilateral Dialogue Geneva +41 22 748 70 70

Cedric Amon