Regionalism Programme

About the Regionalism Programme

The main aim of the Regionalism Programme is to highlight the interactions between the multilateral trade system and the various Regional Trade Agreements which have proliferated in recent years. Some see the relationships between Regionalism and Multilateralism as based on healthy complementarity while others see them as conflictual.

Nevertheless, the majority of members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) belong to several regional integration processes as well, and the rights and obligations attaching to these combinations are not always easy to distinguish. As a result of this, many developing countries find it difficult to develop coherent trade policies. Our aim here is to describe the work of the Programme, which aims to highlight the potential of Regional trade in a context of sustainable development. It will operate within the following four areas of interest.

  1. The multinational level, with a focus on GATT article XXIV
  2. The Inter-regional level, and the various processes relating to EPAs
  3. The regional or sub-regional level, and processes of regional integration
  4. The bilateral level, focusing on preferential trading arrangements