The high-level panel discussion on “Game-Changer or Game-Maker – 20 Years of China in the WTO” was held at the Geneva Graduate Institute on 2 May 2022. The event was organised by the China and East Asia Studies Initiative (CEAS) - a student led research and debate platform on contemporary issues about China, East Asia and the world – in prior collaboration with OpenEconomics and with the support of the Geneva Trade Platform.
The keynote speaker, panellists and moderator included Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang, WTO Deputy Director-General, Prof. Xiankun Lu, Managing Director of LEDECO, Ms Aditi Sara Verghese, Policy Lead for International Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Prof. Zi Yuan, Assistant Professor in International Economics at the Geneva Graduate Institute, and Prof. Robert Koopman, Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division at the WTO, respectively.
In his keynote speech, Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang emphasised China’s contribution to the WTO and its continuous support to the least developed countries (LDCs), warned against full-fledged protectionism as an outcome of the pandemic, and encouraged policy dialogue based on analytical research.
Panellists discussed the application of WTO rules on China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs), especially on subsidies, and addressed the fact that recent trade wars and COVID-19 have added fuel to US-China economic decoupling, raising concerns over a new economic iron curtain.
Panellists also analysed the ongoing restructuring of global value chains (GVCs) towards a regional and national footprint, particularly in view of the Russia-Ukraine situation.
Finally, the questions of multilateralism at the WTO, as well as China’s prospects for participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), were also discussed before Q&As on environmental and human rights concerns.
The hybrid event was attended by more than 120 students and participants from the International Geneva and around the world.
The CEAS Student Organising Committee included: Andreas Oeschger, Camille Lau, Daegan Kingery, Shunyao Liu, Tanishqua Kanetkar, Tim van Doorne, Heeran Kim, Emma Nijssen, Yuanshi Ni, Serena Uy, Zizhou Xia, Anna Baisch, Maya Shinoda, Margherita Garonzi, Jingyi Ye, Xinran Yi, Victoria Kotey, Houda Barroug and Mihail Mouhlov.
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The event was organised in prior collaboration with:
and with the support of: