Much more needs to be done to prepare world trade for the future, says WTO chief

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World Trade Organization (WTO) chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Thursday that much remained to be done to address the challenges facing global trading systems and supply chains, saying the future of commerce would be digital and green.

Speaking in a special session at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda 2022 online summit, she also said the supply chain issue was an opportunity to “re-globalize” to solve problems. inequality in the world.

”The future of commerce is digital and the future of commerce is green. To do this, we must strengthen our multilateral systems. We have frameworks, but the frameworks need to be strengthened,” said the WTO Director General.

She added that there was a lot of work to be done to strengthen trade systems and be ready for the future of trade.

Speaking at the same session on the theme “Rebuilding Trust in Global Trade and Supply Chains”, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said: “Our goal really shouldn’t be to go back to the 2019 situation.” She highlighted the need to build better and more resilient supply chains post-pandemic.

The roundtable, moderated by World Economic Forum (WEF) Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, focused on how the pandemic is triggering a mindset shift from “just in time” to ” just in case “.

They also discussed the national and international changes needed to ensure the resilience of global supply chains and to restore support for trade as a driver of development and prosperity.

Schwab called for a more “human-centric” global trading system.

A virtual meeting of core WTO members will take place on the sidelines of the Davos Agenda summit on Friday, where issues such as the WTO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed pact on fisheries subsidies and reform will be discussed.

India and South Africa are pushing for a decision on their proposed temporary waiver of certain provisions of a WTO agreement on intellectual property rights to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting is significant as the 12th Ministerial Conference, the WTO’s highest decision-making body, has been indefinitely postponed due to the outbreak of the highly transmissible Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus. It was the second time the event was postponed due to the pandemic.

The WTO is a 164-member multilateral body that formulates rules for global exports and imports and adjudicates disputes between two or more countries on trade-related issues.

In another session at the WEF event, business leaders discussed how ESG (environmental, social and governance) metrics can help create a sustainable future.

“The idea is to normalize these things, so investors won’t be confused,” said Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan.

Accenture President and CEO Julie Sweet said, “It’s about competitiveness. Companies that have embraced sustainability are more profitable.” What began as a project to help make sense of the bewildering multitude of possible ESG disclosures, the WEF’s Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics presents a universal core set of non-compliant disclosures. financial resources that companies can use.

Today, more than 140 companies have shown their support for the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics initiative, with more than 50 already including the metrics in their reports.

Royal Philips CEO Frans Van Hooten said ESG alignment is important, but additional action will also be needed to meet climate targets.

“Once we have transparency on ESG metrics, there has to be a cost for not being sustainable, a cost for waste, a cost for carbon emissions,” he added.

In another session, astronaut Matthias Maurer joined the WEF live from space, as he took part in discussions from the International Space Station.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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