Launched by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the Doha Round is now deadlocked. Hardly any headway has been made in 15 years. Despite this, Alliance Sud favours the multilateral path over bilateral or regional free trade agreements.
Switzerland negotiated a free trade agreement with China between January 2010 and July 2013. Swiss NGOs, including Alliance Sud, urged the Federal Council to ensure that the agreement include respect for and promotion of human rights.
The industrialized countries are increasingly turning their backs on WTO multilateralism. It is being replaced by regional and thematic mega-agreements. And this, much to the detriment of emerging and least developed countries.
Switzerland is negotiating a free trade agreement with Malaysia in the framework of the EFTA. The topics should also include the rights of indigenous people, environmental degradation and rampant corruption.
Today, no product is any longer produced from start to finish in a single country, components often come from all directions. How can the least developed countries be helped not to lose out in global production chains?