In this panel, we are going to debate whether liberalised trade supports food security in its many dimensions.
As we strive to build resilience in the wake of Covid-19, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is seriously disrupting international supply chains, with inflation spiralling. Russia has weaponised food supply, and while many suffer, the domino effect is rising government intervention in agricultural and food markets. Large producing countries have placed export restrictions and bans on commodities, leaving others to secure affordable food as their reserves plummet.
The United Nations predicts that the conflict in Ukraine will see acute hunger increase by 47 million people, with Sub Saharan Africa most at risk. Developed economies also run the risk of seeing the vulnerable in society falling into the trap of food insecurity, not due to lack of access, but affordability.Against this backdrop, WTO Members have agreed a joint emergency response to food insecurity and to exempt the World Food Programme from export prohibitions or restrictions.
Do open markets support food security? Does liberalised trade contribute to mitigating systemic shocks? As governments seek to intervene, can export restrictions tackle inflation? What role for the WTO in reigning-in disruptive practices?
Doaa Abdel Motaal, Senior Counsellor, World Trade Organization
John Clarke, Director, Directorate G – International, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
Simon J. Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St Gallen and Founder of the Global Trade Alert and St Gallen Endowment for Prosperity Through Trade
Tatiana Lipovetskaia Palermo, Former Chief Agricultural Negotiator and Secretary of International Relations of the Ministry of Agriculture of Brazil
Moderated by Emily Rees, Senior Fellow at ECIPE