Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MULTITRADE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 912351
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: India

The impact of regional trade agreements for the EU and emerging economies

The renewed focus on regional trade agreements (RTAs) is impacting major emerging markets. An EU initiative looked at the multilateral trade system and its implications for Europe and emerging countries.
The impact of regional trade agreements for the EU and emerging economies
Despite globalisation, protectionism and the exclusion of emerging markets from global trade deals, there is a will to take the multilateral trade agenda forward. With EU funding, the MULTITRADE (Does trade multilateralism have a future? Reviving the WTO's credibility as the premier multilateral trade negotiating forum) project analysed the potential structure of a multilateral trade negotiation system and trade liberalisation approach.

MULTITRADE focused on the emergence of RTAs and their effect on multilateral trade. It also investigated the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a leading multilateral trade negotiating body, and how it can be reformed to optimise its functions.

Two key papers were published in this respect. The first examined how large RTAs can influence the multilateral trading system and how this may affect China and India. The new economic governance system that is likely to arise given the rejuvenated interest in regionalism was also analysed. The paper also showed that market fragmentation is caused by imbalances. These imbalances were the result of free trade agreements that were not opened up on a global scale.

The second paper explored the potential implications of the recent global shift towards regionalism for the two emerging markets. It studied how various regional agreements that are being negotiated can be brought in line with the WTO. Future challenges and reforms that need to be addressed by the WTO were also set forth.

MULTITRADE provided extensive insight into emerging market concerns over multilateral trade governance. The EU should be well positioned to enter into trade negotiations with emerging countries while supporting trade multilateralism. By emphasising deeper multilateral engagement between EU Member States, findings are also relevant to the wider EU community.

Related information


Regional trade agreements, emerging markets, MULTITRADE, trade multilateralism, World Trade Organization
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