The 12th Ministerial Conference: Towards a WTO 2.0?

An online seminar for economic and trade journalists was held from May 31 to June 3, 2021, organized jointly by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Geneva Office and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Tatiana Trubacheva was invited to the seminar with the participation of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Kazakhstan:

"When the seminar “The 12th Ministerial Conference: Towards a WTO 2.0?” began, I was upset to realize that I was quite distant from the global economic agenda. Like many business journalists and media in Kazakhstan, I focus on local topics, while only the "super heavyweights" fall within my scope of attention from the global issues.

On the other hand, such seminars are organized for journalists to be involved in global trends and to better understand how international structures (in this case the WTO) work and how the world economy develops.

The seminar allowed us to look "inside the WTO," to see how some of the organization's mechanisms work, for example, how member countries can dispute the actions of other governments. It was explained to us why these issues are processed for a long time (in fact, because we want to better understand what is going on and make the right decision) and how they try to speed up the processing of complaints.

There was, for example, a detailed description of how COVID-19 affected e-commerce. Our country was not given as an example, but nevertheless it was clear from the description of the global situation that we were moving along the same trajectory as other countries. We had a surge in online commerce; even people who had never thought of doing online shopping joined in. Governments, as well as the Cabinet of Ministers of Kazakhstan, were dealing with complex logistical problems, when supply chains were broken or almost broken.

Toward the end of the seminar, my regrets about me being distant from global economic issues faded away. They were overridden by curiosity - "What else interesting things are happening in the world? - and the desire to write more about Kazakhstan's agenda in light of global events."

Tatyana Trubacheva, editor of special projects at Kursiv.