13 Dec 2021

Successful Roundtable Discussion marks the Conclusion of the WTI’s latest PhD Course

On Friday, 10 December 2021, a roundtable discussion on the future of the multilateral trading system featuring ambassadors, high-level trade policy makers, negotiators, and academics marked the concluding part of Dr. Maarten Smeets’ PhD course “Trade Negotiations & Techniques”.

Underscoring the primacy of the multilateral trading system, the panelists offered constructive and innovative suggestions on the ways forward to reforming the multilateral trading system, opening markets and liberalising trade in a sustainable and inclusive manner. While recognising the importance of strengthening the WTO’s negotiating function through the multilateral process, panelists also addressed the paths pursued through plurilateral and sectoral approaches. Students engaged in an insightful discussion with the panelists and asked challenging questions based on what they had learned during the course.

The panel, moderated by Dr. Smeets, included the following high-level officials and experts:

  • H.E. Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Permanent Mission of South Africa
  • H.E. Dr. Manuel Teehankee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Permanent Mission of the Philippines
  • H.E. Santiago Wills, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Permanent Mission of Colombia, Chair of the Fisheries Subsidies negotiations
  • Mr. Hiddo Houben, Deputy Permanent Representative of the European Union to the WTO
  • Mrs. Mina Mashayekhi, Former Director in charge of Trade Division and Head of Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch (UNCTAD). Adjunct Professor Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE), Shanghai, China
  • Mr. David Skowronski, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Australia to the WTO
  • Prof. Dr. Peter van den Bossche, Director of Studies World Trade Institute (WTI), President of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL)

The WTI would like to thank all panelists for sharing their expertise and knowledge with the participants. We would also like to express our gratitude to Dr. Smeets for organising the roundtable and for teaching a course filled with interesting case studies, relevant trade topics and bringing together high-level guest speakers from academia and policy spheres.

Click here to read more about the WTI’s Doctoral Programme.