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International trade as an engine for development

The multilateral trading system has made a significant contribution to economic growth and development. Despite this contribution, the system is facing serious challenges. Following the positive trade momentum over the last two years, 2018 saw growing trade tensions and increasing threats to the functioning of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its dispute settlement system. Trade growth is expected to slow in 2019 with significant downside risks associated with escalating trade tensions. These challenges present an opportunity to make the system work better, by finding solutions within the multilateral trading system, updating the WTO and revamping the trading system for a new century. In their communiqué at the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Argentina, G20 leaders recognized the contribution of the multilateral trading system and committed to support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning. Governments can use appropriate intergovernmental meetings to accelerate progress on WTO reform. In addition, it is hoped that WTO members will complete long-standing work on the development agenda.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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