Dec 15, 2007

International Trade Law Conference Ends

Our informant advises that the head of the MFAT Trade Law group Clare Fearnley attended today's closing sessions of the New Zealand Centre for International Economic Law Conference in Wellington. This was good as MFAT was underrepresented on the first day. The highlight today was a recorded presentation from New Zealand's WTO Ambassador Crawford Falconer. Falconer gave a good overview of the GATT and WTO's history and his assessment of where it is heading. His view of the future suggests that the days of the WTO as the place where trade liberalisation is negotiated may be over. He was relatively upbeat on chances of achieving an outcome to the current Doha negotiation but would not say by when, or how big an outcome, though he suggested that the Uruguay Round had been the watershed for the WTO, with the current round essentially a tidy up.