Uncertain Times Ahead: India and the Crisis at the World Trade Organization

Join us for an exclusive discussion on the current crisis at WTO and India’s engagement.

Photo by Hivan Arvizu

Event Details


swissnex India
#26, Rest House Crescent Road, Bangalore, Karnataka 560001 India


June 07, 2019 from 12:15 pm to 1:30 pm Asia/India (UTC+05:30)

The rules-based multilateral trading system, as it has been administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995, is being shaken to its foundations. In the course of the last two years, the number of trade restrictive measures imposed by G-20 countries has rapidly increased. The United States and China are embroiled in a trade war affecting USD 360 bn of trade. With the European Union, the United States is involved in a ‘smaller’ trade war but one that may escalate soon. National security is now commonly, but recklessly, invoked as a justification for trade restrictions to protect ailing domestic industries or to pursue broad foreign policy objectives. The compulsory and binding WTO dispute settlement system, once the jewel in the crown of the WTO, is being gravely undermined and may no longer be fully operational by the end of this year.

Come, join the lecture by Prof. Van den Bossche that will cover the above and other elements of the current crisis at the WTO, and discuss the engagement of India in the ongoing discussions on the future of the WTO.

About the speaker

Peter Van den Bossche is Director of Studies of the World Trade Institute and Professor of International Economic Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Bern, Switzerland. Since 2018, he serves as President of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL). He was a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization from 2009 to 2017 and served as its chairman in 2015. In 2018 and early 2019, he continued to hear appeals in cases assigned to him before the expiry in December 2017 of his second and last term as a WTO appellate judge. He is an honorary professor at Maastricht University, the Netherlands (since 2018), and a visiting professor at the LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome, Italy (since 2016), at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador (since 2016), and at the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium (since 2010). He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Journal of International Economic Law, the Journal of World Investment and Trade, the Revista Latinoamericana de Derecho Comercial Internacional and the WTO Chairs Programme of the World Trade Organization. Peter Van den Bossche holds a doctorate in law from the European University Institute, Florence, an LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School and a Licence en Droit from the University of Antwerp. Van den Bossche is the author (with Werner Zdouc) of The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization, 4th edition (Cambridge University Press, 2017), 1077 p.; and (with Denise Prévost) of Essentials of WTO Law (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 302 p.
Prof. Peter Van den Bossche
Director of Studies / WTI


6 pm  | Welcome address by Mr Sebastien Hug, CEO of swissnex India and Consul General

6.05 pm | Lecture by Prof. Van Den Bossche, Director of Studies at WTI

Introduction to World Trade Institute, University of Bern

6.30 pm | In conversation with Mr Nitin Pai, Director at the Takshashila Institution

6.50 pm | Open discussion with the audience

7.05 pm | Vote of Thanks



Participation is only by registration.