Covid-19 is the most significant event since the Second World War. It changes everything.
It brings great sadness to many of us as we lose loved ones, as we see people losing their jobs, and as we see people around the world suffering immensely.
If the promise embodied in the name of the Doha Development Round is to be fulfilled after the WTO failure at Cancun, these negotiations must be re-vitalised, writes Ian Goldin, Vice President, External Affairs and United Nations Affairs of the World Bank. In this article, the author writes that rich countries need to take the lead in re-starting the multilateral process by making more ambitious offers than were on the table in Cancun, and developing countries should follow by showing increased flexibility to open their own markets. This will ensure that the developing countries are able to take full advantage of the benefits from investments in research and extension and rural infrastructure to enhance their global integration and trade. The potential benefits for the developing world from global trade reform are estimated to be as high as USD 349 billion per year when dynamic impacts are taken into account. The goal of Cancun was that business as usual cannot continue and that a new equilibrium needs to emerge that will give Africa a chance to benefit from the powerful engine of growth and poverty reduction that trade has proven to be in other parts of the world.