Research and analysis
Edited by Marc Auboin
Counsellor, Trade and Finance and Trade Facilitation Division,
World Trade Organization
Contributing to achieving more coherent global economic policy-making is one of the five core functions of the WTO, as defined by Article III.5 of the WTO Agreement. Its ability to do so depends on it carrying of its other functions successfully – providing a forum for liberalization, ensuring strict observance of its multilateral rules and disciplines, and contributing to policy surveillance. Beyond the direct commercial benefits this brings to WTO Members, a well functioning, open, rules-based, trading system makes trade policies more predictable and effective tools for economic management. It increases resource flows to developing countries, strengthens markets and economies structurally, and helps underpin macroeconomic and financial stability. That, in turn, makes trade ministries and the WTO more influential partners in cooperating with finance and development ministries, and with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, to generate the broad coherence of economic policy-making that is sought at national and international levels, and to advance the shared objectives of sustainable growth, development and poverty reduction. These objectives are set out in the WTO Ministerial "Coherence Mandate", which establishes a special relationship with the IMF and the World Bank to achieve greater coherence in global economic policy-making.
This paper looks at ten years of cooperation between the three institutions, from routine daily work and projects to higher-profile initiatives. It describes the mandate and framework under which cooperation is organized, and provides an overview of the multi-pronged activities in which the WTO is engaged with its partners. It takes a critical look at what has been achieved so far in relation to expectations and according to the different interpretations of the Mandate itself. In a forward-looking perspective, it also examines how cooperation develops and may look like in the future – either as a continuation of certain projects or new forms of cooperation, contingent on the successful conclusion of the Doha Round, and possible changes in the shape and architecture of the multilateral system – in the sense that altering architecture would change the lines of cooperation as new cross-cutting issues may appear as a result.Published September 2007 | 40 pages | 297 x 210 mm | Weight: 0.200 kg