On October 14th, the Bertelsmann Stiftung hosted a session on “Multilateral Regionalism and Emerging Markets – Opportunities and Risks in Global Trade” at the Global Economic Symposium (GES) in Kiel. Session speakers included Andreas Esche (Director, Shaping Sustainable Economies Program in the Bertelsmann Stiftung); Joseph Francois (Managing Director, World Trade Institute); Bernard Hoekman (Professor, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies); Pascal Lamy (honorary president, think tank Notre Europe and former Director-General,World Trade Organization) and Petra Pinzler (Berlin Correspondent, DIE ZEIT).

Among other interesting topics, guest speakers made insightful remarks on TTIP, CETA and transparency during free trade agreements’ negotiations.

Esche highlighted that the rules of origin represent a burden for companies and pushed for a mutual recognition of standards across countries. According to him, these agreements should work under the idea of integration and openness instead of exclusivity.

Pinzler criticised the lack of transparency during trade agreement negotiations. She mentioned the case of CETA, where the European Commission did not disclose information for the general public. On the other hand, Francois stressed that Governments were elected by the people, therefore they have legitimacy to negotiate these agreements.

In what regards countries outside these agreements, Pinzler criticised that their absence from the negotiations and claimed that they should be consulted. However, Francois claimed that a docking clause has been discussed by Turkey and Switzerland in the context of TTIP.

See their full remarks in this video below:

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Don’t miss our videos on Fair Trade and Free Trade , ISDS Provisions , TTIP and EU and US regulatory convergence and Precaution and Trade Negotiations with Pascal Lamy (former Director-General at WTO) at the GES.

And if you are interested in reading more on TTIP’s potential effects on third countries, don’t miss our TTIP study on potential winners and losers in developing countries.