The establishment of the multilateral trading system over seven decades ago was based on the understanding that interdependence and cooperation contribute to peace and shared prosperity. More recently, however, new challenges, such as geopolitical tensions, rising inequalities and climate change, have led to fears that globalization exposes countries to excessive risks. Such fears have increased pressures to unwind trading relationships and turn to unilateral policies through a process of fragmentation.
This year‘s World Trade Report examines the benefits of re-globalization ？ or integrating more people, economies and pressing issues into global trade and strengthening multilateral cooperation ？ as well as the risks of fragmentation of the multilateral trading system. It shows that trade has proved to be a source of security and peace, a driver of poverty reduction, and a critical tool for addressing climate change. The Report argues that, to make our economies more secure, inclusive and sustainable, re-globalization is a much more effective solution to global challenges than fragmentation.
Global problems need global solutions, meaning that today‘s world needs more cooperation, not less. A reinvigorated multilateral trading system overseen by the WTO has an important role to play in this process.