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Lamy talks about multilateral trading system in times of crisis

16
Apr '10
Director-General Pascal Lamy, at the Round Table Centre for Public Studies in Santiago on 15 April 2010, extended the sympathy of the WTO family to the people of Chile “for the terrible earthquake that you have just lived through”. Noting the “remarkable” speed of the recent turnaround of the world economy as compared with that of the 1930s, he said that “the trade rules have stood to the protectionist pressures but we now need to ensure that this culture of cooperation brings the Doha Round to its completion”. This is what he said:

Multilateral Trading System and the Threat Of Protectionism in Times of Economic Crisis

It is a great pleasure for me to be at the Centro de Estudios Publicos and to have the opportunity to participate in this discussion about the crisis and its impact on the multilateral trading system.

But before beginning, allow me to extend my heart-felt sympathy to you and to the people of Chile for the terrible earthquake that you have just lived through. From the outside one can only begin to imagine the shock, hardship and suffering that such an event causes, and I know that I speak not just for myself, but for the WTO family as a whole, in expressing these sentiments.

Turning to our topic — how the multilateral trading system manages in times of economic crisis — I think that I have a positive, if still cautious, message to deliver. The world economy has taken a severe battering, as bad as anything in the last 70 years. All countries were affected, although some resisted better than others thanks in part to sound macroeconomic management.

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