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Brokering Consensus on Trade within the Multilateral Trading System

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Who We Are

Established in 2016 in Geneva, the Friends of Multilateralism Group (FMG) is a non-profit think tank of independent experts firmly committed to promoting multilateralism and shared growth within the multilateral trading system (MTS).

FMG endeavors to buttress efforts by Members, both delegations and capital officials, on WTO reform and other issues of importance to the MTS and help restore the centrality of the WTO in the global governance of trade and investment. FMG and its members seek to provide high-quality, independent and expert advice through a series of activities and products, including research, debates, consultations and policy advice, to help build a positive eco-system that identifies and supports potential compromises and landing zones for a sustainable multilateral trading system.

What We Do

The WTO faces short-term threats and long-term challenges. Both need to be effectively addressed with effective reforms inspired in a shared long-term strategy. Therefore, the focus of FMG will be WTO reform under discussion by members, addressing both short-term threats and long-term challenges through analysis, dialogue and action-oriented proposals.

Depending on the development of the system and demands of members, FMG can also take upon new tasks beyond WTO reform. Based on this rationale, the FMG will focus on the following set of subjects (a “living” list):

Global Trade Governance
  • Best practices for better transparency and deliberation of the WTO
  • Multilateral structure and plurilateral initiatives
  • Dispute settlement, in particular potential landing zones for both a quick resurrection of the appellate body and long-term challenges
  • Empowerment of the Secretariat to better its informing and facilitative role
  • Engagement of civil society on WTO reform
Leadership Role of Major Players
  • Trade tension among major players and its impact on the multilateral trading system
  • Rebalancing of rights and obligations
Integration of Developing Countries

Particularly the LDCs among them, into the global trading system

Free and Fair Trade
  • Fisheries subsidies
  • Subsidies, state intervention and distortions
  • Regulatory coherence and global supply chains
21st Century Issues:
  • E-commerce, including the plurilateral negotiations
  • Investment facilitation
  • MSMEs
  • Gender equality and women empowerment
  • Redefinition of traditional subjects in the new context, such as labor and environment standards, trans-border data flows, rules of origin for online services or goods, etc.

In-depth research and pertinent policy advice

FMG will use its own expertise and draw on external expertise to produce policy-papers and proposals, as needed. Drafts will be reviewed and discussed among FMG members to cover all possible angles and promote a collegial view on the subject matter.

Open debates and discussions

FMG will convene all stakeholders, including governments, private sector and civil society, to discuss its policy-papers and proposals.

Targeted follow-up communication and consultations

FMG may also host small group or individual consultations with key members, including officials from capitals, to allow for candid exchange of views and test potential landing zones.

Follow-up conclusions and further advice on landing zones

Finally, FMG researchers will fully review the results of above engagement to further improve the research and policy advice, in particularly on potential compromises and landing zones.

Board of FMG

Co-Chair

Alejandro JARA

Co-Chair of Board

Email: alejandrojara49@gmail.com

Former Deputy Director-General of WTO and former Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Chile to the WTO
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Patrick Low

Co-Chair of Board

Fellow, Asia Global Institute, University of Hong Kong (2015-present)
Visiting Professor, Faculty of Business and Economic, University of Hong Kong (2015-2019)
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Chief Executive Officer

Xiankun LU

Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Email: xiankunlu@163.com

Former Head of Division of Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and Emeritus Professor of University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China
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Mia Mikic

Board Member

Mia Mikic is a trade economist with a keen interest in sustainable development and with a proven track record and experience in academia and international civil service.
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Stuart Harbinson

Board Member

Stuart Harbinson served as a senior Hong Kong government trade policy official and negotiator in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Sherry M. Stephenson

Board Member
Sherry M. Stephenson is an international trade policy expert. She is currently the Services Convenor for the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and has been a lead author or co-author in various THINK 20 Policy Briefs for the past three years.
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Alan Wm. Wolff

Board Member

Alan Wm. Wolff is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Until joining PIIE, he was Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
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Members of FMG

FMG is co-founded by Alejandro JARA and Xiankun LU. Other than its members listed below, FMG also engages extensively external independent experts, as need be.

Axel ADDY

CEO, Ecocap Investment Group (EIG), former Minister of Commerce and Industry and
Chief Trade Negotiator of Liberia Accession to the WTO.

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Mercedes ARAOZ

Professor of International Economics and Public Policy at Universidad del Pacifico, Lima, Peru. Currently she is also a member of the Executive Board of the Global Crop Trust.

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Jeannie CAMERON

CEO of JCIC International, a UK based strategic advocacy consultancy focused on bespoke advice and engagement

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Victor DO PRADO

Victor do Prado is the former Director of Council and Trade Negotiations Committee at the WTO (2012-2022), responsible for the Governing Bodies of the Organization, namely the Ministerial Conference, the General Council,

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Ram ETWAREEA

Former journalist at Le Temps

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Henry GAO

Tenured Law Professor At Singapore Management University And Dongfang Scholar Chair Professor At Shanghai Institute Of Foreign Trade

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Bernard HOEKMAN

Professor and Robert Schuman Chair and Director of the Global Economics programme at the European University Institute of Florence, Italy

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Alejandro JARA

Former Deputy Director-General of WTO and former Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Chile to the WTO

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Robert KOOPMAN

Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer at American Universities School of International Service

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Dorotea LÓPEZ

Professor at the University of Chile and Director of the Institute of International Studies

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Janet Njambi MACHARIA

Ms. Janet Macharia is a lawyer licensed to practice in Kenya.

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Fernando de MATEO
Fernando De Mateo is Invited Professor at El Colegio de México, where he coordinates the Programme on Trade Negotiations.

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Hamish MCCORMICK

Former Australia’s Ambassador to the WTO, UNCTAD and WIPO

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Pradeep S MEHTA

Mr. Pradeep S Mehta (73) is the founder Secretary General of the Jaipur-based Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), a leading economic policy research, advocacy and networking,

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Jan Yves REMY

Jan Yves Remy is Director of the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services (SRC) of University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.  

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Tatjana SACHSE

Head of the international policy practice in Sidley’s Geneva office
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Thu-Lang TRAN WASESCHA

Thu-Lang Tran Wasescha is currently IP (Intellectual Property) Consultant. She is a graduate from the Law School of Geneva University.

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Colette VAN DER VEN

Founder and Director, TULIP CONSULTING Sarl

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Alan WOLFF

Alan Wm. Wolff is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Until joining PIIE, he was Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Rajesh AGGARWAL

Professor (Visiting) at Indian Council of International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi, India

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Richard BALDWIN

Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Switzerland

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John CLARKE

director for international affairs in the European Commission’s DG Agriculture

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Peter DRAPER

Executive Director of the Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide, Australia

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Simon EVENETT

Professor and Academic Director of the MBA programmes at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

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Stuart HARBINSON

Former Chief Representative of HK China to the WTO, former Chief of Staff of the WTO
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Eunice HUANG

Eunice Huang leads Google’s trade policy work in the Asia-Pacific region and Google’s engagement with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Wenhua JI

Professor at the School of Law, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Beijing, China

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Mohan KUMAR

Ambassador Dr. Mohan Kumar is the Chairman of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) since June 2018. RIS is a leading Delhi-based think tank which engages in policy research relating to trade, technology, investment, development, connectivity and south-south cooperation.

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Patrick LOW

Former Chief Economist of WTO

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Cecilia MALMSTRÖM

Dr Malmström has devoted the better part of her career to global affairs and international relations and has extensive experience from multilateral leadership and cooperation.

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Mario MATUS

International Trade lawyer and diplomat. Forty years of experience in international law and regulations, trade policy and trade negotiations, as well as adjudicator in bilateral and multilateral trade disputes.

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Brad MCDONALD

Consultant (Trade Policy) at the International Monetary Fund
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Mia MIKIC

Mia Mikic is a trade economist with a keen interest in sustainable development and with a proven track record and experience in academia and international civil service.

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Cristián RODRÍGUEZ-CHIFFELLE

Cristián Rodríguez-Chiffelle is Senior Advisor in Boston Consulting’s Group Global Advantage practice.
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Sherry STEPHENSON

Sherry M. Stephenson is an international trade policy expert.  She is currently the Services Convenor for the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and has been a lead author or co-author in various THINK 20 Policy Briefs for the past three years.

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Xinquan TU

TU Xinquan is Dean and Professor of the China Institute for WTO Studies of University of International Business and Economics located in Beijing, China.

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Jayashree WATAL

Jayashree Watal retired from the Intellectual Property, Government Procurement and Competition Division of the World Trade Organization in mid-2019,

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Hilda AL-HINAI

Secretary General of the Arab-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CASCI) in Geneva

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Clemens BOONEKAMP

Clemens Boonekamp is now a consultant on trade policy and related matters.

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Wendy CUTLER

Wendy Cutler is Vice President of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the managing director of its Washington, D.C. office.

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Deborah ELMS

Dr Deborah Elms is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre (ATC).

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Jonathan T. FRIED

Mr. Fried retired on August 19, 2020 from his role as Coordinator for International Economic Relations at Global Affairs Canada
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Jennifer HILLMAN

Co-director of the Center on Inclusive Trade and Development and a professor from practice at the Georgetown University Law Center

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Jianzhong HUANG

WTO Chair holder; Professor & Director of Shanghai University of International Business and Economics (SUIBE) Academic Committee

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Masamichi KONO

Mr. Masamichi Kono is the Senior Advisor of MUFG Bank and a Member of the Global Advisory Board of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)

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Siqi LI

Dr. Siqi Li, Associate Professor at China Institute for   WTO   Studies,   University   of   International Business and Economics, China; Visiting Scholar at School   of   Social   and   Political    Science,   The University   of   Edinburgh,   UK   (Sep.   2012-Sep. 2013).

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Xiankun LU

Former Head of Division of Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and Emeritus Professor of University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China

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Hamid MAMDOUH

Former Director of Trade in Services and Investment Division of the WTO
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Petros C. MAVROIDIS

Petros C Mavroidis is Professor of Law at Columbia   Law  School,   NYC.
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Maxim MEDVEDKOV

Former Russia’s chief trade negotiator, and starting from 2019 – a trade policy advisor at the WTO Expertise Center and a professor at the Higher School of Economics University in Moscow (HSE Moscow).

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Michitaka NAKATOMI
International Economy, Trade Law, Trade Policy, Intellectual Property and International Standards, Investment Policy, Technology Policy, Digital Economy, Global Value Chains, Industrial Policy
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Evan ROGERSON

Adjunct Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and co-ordinator of the Singapore Trade Policy Forum.

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Hector TORRES

Former Executive Director at the IMF and former counsellor at the WTO Appellate Body’s Secretariat and the Economic Research and Statistics Division.
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Peter UNGPHAKORN

Peter Ungphakorn worked in the Information and External Relations Division of the WTO Secretariat from 1996 to 2015, part of the team briefing journalists, writing material for the WTO website and preparing public information on the WTO.

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John WEEKES

John Weekes is an international trade policy adviser, experienced in trade agreements, and the settlement of trade disputes.

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Friends of FMG

Some representatives of related international organizations are also invited in their personal capacity, as “Friends of FMG” (FFMG), to enrich the discussions and bridge effective message-passing with such organizations. It is underlined that Members of Friends of FMG are participating in their personal capacities and their views or opinions do not represent the organizations that they are associated with.

Sean DOHERTY

WEF, Head of International Trade and Investment System Initiative, Member of the Executive Committee
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Andreas ESCHE

Director of the Megatrends Program and Member of the Management Committee at the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh

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Anabel GONZÁLEZ

Anabel González is Vice President for Countries at the Inter-American Development Bank.
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Hajo LANZ

Director of the FES Geneva office
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     Niall MEAGHER

Executive Director of the  Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL)
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Sacha SILVA

Sacha Silva is Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Director.
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James ZHAN

James X. Zhan is senior director of investment and enterprise at UNCTAD.

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Michele RUTA

Deputy Chief in the Strategy and Policy Review Department of the International Monetary Fund
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Olaf WIENTZEK

Director of the Multilateral Dialogue Geneva of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS)
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Office

Nathalie YAN

Office Manager of FMG, Main Contact

Email Address: nathalie_yan@163.com

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