13 December 2017 | Trade, Trade Policy and Economic Transformation at the WTO MC11

Side event at the WTO Ministerial Trade & Sustainable Development Symposium, Bolsa de Cereales, Buenos Aires, Argentina 

Breakout Room 3
Wednesday 13 December 2017, 13:30-15:00


Economic transformation is crucial for the type of growth that reduces poverty, create jobs and is resilient to shocks. But many low-income countries have failed to transform successfully. Trade has nearly always been a key component in those countries that have transformed successfully. This event unpacks the role that trade has played in the process of transformation in a number of countries and regions and discuss how trade policy provisions such as those currently under discussion at the WTO can further contribute.

The Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) programme at ODI defines economic transformation as the process of moving from low productivity to high productivity activities, either between or within sectors. Trade, or exposure to trade, can increase productivity in existing sectors or firms as well as move resources from inefficient into efficient firms and sectors.

Multilateral trade provisions can help set the right incentives to invest, innovate, produce and trade in sectors with comparative advantage. They can also generate maintain opportunities in new sectors currently affected by global protectionism and other trade distortions. Current discussions at the WTO that might affect ET includes the elimination of subsidies in fishing, tightening disciplines on domestic support of agriculture and further provisions on digital trade and e-commerce.

This event is part of the Trade & Sustainable Development Symposium (TSDS), which is running alongside the WTO MC11 conference in Buenos Aires.

A link to the event page for TSDS can be found online here.


Dirk Willem te Velde  – Principal Research Fellow and Head, International Economic Development Group, ODI @DWteVelde


Dr. Lucio Castro – Secretary for Productive Transformation, Ministry of Production of Argentina @LucioCastro_

Patricia Francis – Former Executive Director of ITC, and former member UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment @patrfrancis

Anabel Gonzalez – Senior Director, The World Bank Group @Gonzalez_WBG

Andrew McCoubrey – Deputy Director for Trade for Development, Department for International Trade, UK

Dr Maximiliano Mendez-Parra – Senior Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute @m_mendezparra