World Trade Organization head optimistic on trade gains

18 July 2014

The historic ‘Bali Package’ deal inked at the 2013 World Trade Organization (WTO) looks set to succeed and generate more than 21 million new jobs and generate a US one trillion dollar boost to global economy, according to WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo.

Ambassador Azevêdo forecast the future for the WTO and the global trading system in a lecture at The Australian National University (ANU), the only public lecture of his visit to Australia.

ANU Emeritus Professor Peter Drysdale chaired the event where Ambassador Azevêdo discussed the next steps for the international economic community following the Bali Package.

“Bali has created the opportunity to herald a new era in the WTO. But whether we take this opportunity is up to the members. It will be a question of political will,” Ambassador Azevêdo said.

He also highlighted Australia as a leading nation for trade.

“Australia is a trading nation,” he said.

“With a small population in relative terms, and a perfect geographical position, it's perhaps inevitable that trade has long been a major part of Australia's economic mix.”

Following the lecture Professor Drysdale sat down with the Ambassador to discuss how the historic deal came together behind the scenes and what it means for the world.

The lecture was presented by the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

The full lecture can be viewed here and the interview with Professor Drysdale can be seen above.