Issues Note - Gomi Tharaka Senadhira ,Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the WTO -Chair of the Committee on Trade and Development World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva - 07th June 2005

* The author is the Permanent representative of Sri Lanka to the WTO. However the views expressed in this paper are personal to the author and should not be necessarily attributed to the Government of Sri Lanka.

1. Political support for the WTO approach to a rule-structured world trade in an environment of growing bilateral and regional trade agreements.

In an environment where growing bilateral and regional trade agreements are increasing rapidly in numbers and significance, prevailing trends indicate, that the political support for the multilateral trading system and the WTO is not adequate enough. Though both Developed and Developing Countries are actively pursuing bilateral and regional arrangements, the major threat to the multilateralism stems from the initiatives undertaken by the Developed Countries, particularly by the two major trading powers.

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