During his visit to China, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said that the present shifts in the balance of power in global trade lean in favor of emerging economies have defined the need for a "new equilibrium" where undeniable "leadership patterns will emerge"

He spoke at Sichuan University in Chengdu (October 19) where he received an honorary doctorate degree.  Lamy gave an overview of  “The Future of the World Trading System”, saying the continuous tension derived from the quest for "economic leadership" has caused countries to question obligations and rights as well as the principle of reciprocity.  This ongoing tension has made it impossible “to reach agreement on a big package of new regulations of world trade in the Doha Round," he said.

Lamy added that the Doha talks have reached a stalemate and asked WTO members to "seek common cause in order to move the trade agenda along."

"We shall be ill-equipped to address this if we cannot break the stalemate. Not only will the world economy suffer from increased uncertainty and lost economic opportunity, but the WTO will also be weakened as paralysis sets in around an intractable negotiation."

Lamy also warned against the rise in regionalism that could potentially lead to discriminatory or protectionist measures warning, “we run the risk of regulatory divergence and a resulting fragmentation of markets.’’

During his China visit, Lamy acknowledged the growing role of China in the multilateral trading system due to its growing economy and domestic consumption.  

Read Pascal Lamy’s speech