The Future of the WTO

A Keynote Address with Anabel González, Minister of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica
  • Monday, Feb 11, 2013

  • World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Nominee Anabel Gonzalez believes in the strength of the institution she has been nominated to lead. Minister Gonzalez, the Foreign Trade Minister of Costa Rica, has seen first-hand the development potential of small nations which use the rules-based trading system to achieve economic reform. Minister Gonzalez strongly believes that the WTO, as a member driven organization, requires a Director General that is willing to respond directly to member issues and inquiries, providing an open forum where various points of view are taken seriously.

    Minister González recognizes that there is little appetite for structural reform of the WTO, but she does believe there is significant interest in the evolution to new issues and structures. The WTO has evolved quite successfully; issues once thought too controversial, or beyond the scope of the organization, have been effectively addressed. That said, it is true that the global economy has also changed significantly since birth of WTO.  In due course, anchored in a solid analysis and in agreement with member needs, more change will happen.

    Delivering results at the 2013 WTO Ministerial conference in Bali would bring a renewed sense of confidence to members’ ability to the institution.  Reinvigorating the organization and bringing back the interest of the business community are relevant accomplishments for the WTO. Returning to the Doha agenda after successfully addressing the issues raised at Bali has the potential to attract more people to a liberalized trade agenda, promoting economic growth and responding to the risk of global supply chains in the process. When thinking about global value chains, investment is a key part of the trade agenda, both at the WTO and through bilateral negotiations. Investment drives trade in global value chains.

    Anabel González   Minister of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica

    The Scholl Chair in International Business is proud to host a public event featuring Costa Rican Trade Minister Anabel González, a leading candidate to succeed Pascal Lamy as Director-General of the World Trade Organization. Ms. González has served as the lead negotiator on Costa Rican trade and investment issues since her appointment in May 2010, and has been a policy maker and advisor in these matter for more than two decades, leading efforts to integrate Costa Rica into the world economy. She also served as Director of the Agriculture and Commodities Division of the WTO. This will be Ms. González's first public speaking appearance in the US since her nomination for WTO Director-General.

    Keynote Address by:

    Anabel González
    Minister of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica

    Panel Discussion with:

    John Murphy
    Vice President, International Affairs
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce


    Linda Menghetti Dempsey
    Vice President, International Economic Affairs
    National Association of Manufacturers

    Moderated by:

    Scott Miller
    Senior Adviser, CSIS


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