World Trade Forum 2020: «The Future of Trade Policy and External Cooperation: is Soft Power Passé?»

The World Trade Forum will take place on 22 and 23 September 2020. The theme of this year's forum is «The Future of Trade Policy and External Cooperation: is Soft Power Passé?». The Forum – which will take place online via Zoom this year – is organized by the World Trade Institute (WTI), University of Bern, and the European University Institute (EUI). The aim of the conference is to bring together leading trade experts from practice, science, administration, NGO’s, international organizations and the private sector.

Trade policy is back in the center of policy attention: Trade conflicts among major economies have been growing recently. Large trading powers are reconsidering long-held trade and investment policy stances. Concurrently, political pressures are increasing to induce reshoring of global value chains to enhance ‘strategic autonomy’ of single economies and to use trade as a tool to pursue non-trade objectives. Instruments to address foreign subsidization, tax the digital economy and to use trade policy to help green the economy raise the prospects of further trade tensions. This year’s World Trade Forum brings together researchers and practitioners to reflect on recent developments in trade policy and opportunities to bolster international trade cooperation looking forward. Conference language is English.

We would like to invite you to the event:

Date: Tuesday, 22 September, 10.00 – 16.30 and Wednesday, 23 September, 10.00 – 17.30

Venue:             Online (via Zoom)

Registration:   Click on the link to register for the event: (Registration is possible until 19 September 2020)

List of speakers:

  • Wolfgang Alschner, Associate Professor, Law Faculty, University of Ottawa
  • Ken Ash, Director, Trade and Agriculture, OECD
  • San Bilal, Head of Programme Trade, Investment and Finance, Economic and Agricultural Transformation Programme, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)
  • Laszlo Bruszt, Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Central European University (CEU)
  • Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director International Trade Centre (ITC)
  • Paola Conconi, Professor of Economics, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Kamala Dawar, Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex
  • Peter Draper, Executive Director of the Institute for International Trade in the Faculty of the Professions, University of Adelaide
  • Deborah Elms, Founder and Executive Director, Asian Trade Centre
  • Ilaria Espa, Assistant Professor of International Economic Law, Università della Svizzera Italiana, and Senior Research Fellow, World Trade Institute, University of Bern
  • Simon Evenett, Professor of Economics, University of St.Gallen, MBA Director, and Coordinator of Global Trade Alert (GTA)
  • Joseph Francois, Managing Director, World Trade Institute, University of Bern
  • Caroline Freund, Global Director of Trade, Investment and Competitiveness, World Bank Group
  • Octavio Fernandez-Amador, Legal Advisor and Deputy to the Director of the WTO Team, European Commission
  • Bernard Hoekman, Professor and Director, Global Economics at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence
  • Weinian Hu, Research Fellow, Centre for Private and Economic Law, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Sebastien Jean, Director, Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Priyanka Kher, Private Sector Specialist in the Investment and Competition unit of the World Bank Group’s Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
  • Miklos Koren, Professor of Economics, Central European University (CEU)
  • Anne Krueger, Senior Research Professor of International Economics, Johns Hopkins University
  • Morr Link, PhD candidate, Department of International Relations, Hebrew University
  • Junior Lodge, Team Leader, ACP-EU TBT Programme
  • Marie Lovely, Non-resident Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)
  • Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PCEE), Singapore
  • André Sapir, Professor, Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management; Senior Fellow, Bruegel
  • Anne-Marie Thow, Associate Professor, Public Policy and Health, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of Sydney
  • Patrick Tomberger, Postdoc Researcher, World Trade Institute, University of Bern
  • Peter Van den Bossche, Director of Studies, World Trade Institute, University of Bern, and President of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL)
  • Craig Vangrasstek, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Sabine Weyand, Director General for Trade, European Union
  • Zhang Xiangchen, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of China to the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Tu Xinquan, Professor and Dean, China Institute for WTO Studies, University of international Business and Economics (UIBE)

You can find more information here:


Media representatives are asked to send interview requests until Friday, 18 September 2020

Tel. +41 31 684 38 61 //  


World Trade Institute (WTI)

The World Trade Institute (WTI) is a leading academic institution dedicated to teaching and research focused on international trade and investment regulation and economic globalisation and sustainability. As a centre of excellence at the University of Bern with an international, interdisciplinary focus, we explore the interconnections between the fields of law, economics and political science.

More information about the WTI:



World Trade Forum

The World Trade Forum is an annual event co-organised by the World Trade Institute of the University of Bern and the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, each autumn to discuss a topic related to the world trading system.