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Global Dialogue 5: Trade Impact and Trade Policy Responses to the Global Economic Crisis

March 31, 2009                                                                    

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                                     Watch a video of the discussion




Participants in this event discussed the trade impact of the crisis and trade policy responses to address it. Gathered at the event were senior officials from trade ministries, officials dealing with trade finance in the Central Banks, senior representatives from the Chambers of Commerce, National Exporters Associations and senior managers from private sector banks from Brazil, India, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, Korea, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

In this session, preeminent trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council of Foreign Relations, made initial remarks for 15 minutes on trade policy challenges facing the countries.

The global dialogue addressed the following questions:

For Public Sector Officials:

• What has been the impact of the global downturn on trade flows in your country?
• What trade policy decisions/initiatives have you taken in the 12 last months that you feel will help your country through the current global downturn. 
• What was your motivation for initiating these policies and using the particular trade policy instruments chosen? 
• What non- trade policies has your government instituted to support exporters?
• In the trade arena, what assistance from multilateral donors would be most useful today?

For Private Sector Participants:

• How has the export sector performed? 
• What strategies have you taken in response to the drop in global demand?  Has there been adjustment in terms of i) Entering new export markets, ii) a change in export products (new or different quality), and/or iii) Foreign Investment, inward or outward.
• Besides low demand from export markets, what are the main constraints on your export success?What recent government policies, have been most helpful in maintaining competitiveness? What new government policies would help you?
• To what extent and in what form is the trade finance issue affecting exporters in your country? Is it the same for large exporters versus SMEs?
• What national or multilateral interventions in trade finance seem to be working? 
• In what form would new assistance from the government or multilateral donors be most useful.


Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University

Mr. Mario Mesquita
Deputy Governor of Economic Policy

Carlos Marcio Cozendey
Director Economic Department
Ministry of External Relations

Ambassador Evandro Didonet
Ministry of External Relations

Ms. Lytha Spíndola
Brazilian Foreign Trade Camber (CAMEX)

Mr. Aloisio Tupinambá
Senior Advisor
Brazilian Foreign Trade Camber (CAMEX)

Mr. Jeovan Assis da Silva
Secretariat for International Affairs
Ministry of Finance

Bidisha Ganguly
Confederation of Indian Industry

Center for Poverty and Development Studies
Dr Norma Mansor, Dean, Faculty of Ecomonics and Administration
Assoc. Prof Dr Sulochana Nair, Director
Prof Dr Goh Kim Leng, Deputy Dean
Dr Evelyn, Lecturer

Republic of Korea
Jin Kyo Suh
Director of Trade and Investment
Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Chul Chung
Head of WTO
Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Tae Sik Yoon
Director of Trade Policy Division
Ministry of Strategy and Finance

Ms. Aneta Piatkowska
Director of Analysis and Forecast Department

South Africa
Ms. Cynthia Chikura
Trade and Economic Policy Desk
Business Unity SA

Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies
Ms. Ximena Gonzalez-Nunez, Acting Executive Director
Ms. Myriam Velia, Research Director
Mr.  Mmatlou Kalaba, Programme Manager

Mr. Tsidiso Disenyana
Project Head
Development through Trade
South African Institute of International Affairs

Mr. Mzukisi Qobo
Chief Director
Trade Policy Review
The Department of Trade and Industry

Sri Lanka
Mr. Neil Magederagamage
Director -General of Commerce
Dept of Commerce

Mr. Anura Ekanayake
Ceylon Chamber of  Commerce

Mr. Jegan Durairatnam
Dep. General Manager (International)
Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka

Mr. Krisda  Piampongsant
Inspector General
Ministry of Commerce

Mrs. Malee Choklumlerd
Executive Director
Office of Expert Planning
Department of Export Promotion

Ms. Nitivadee Manitkul
Division of Economic Relations and Cooperation
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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