2022 CIBEL Global Network Conference | Session 1: Trade and Sustainability

Sustainability has become a keyword in policymaking as governments seek to counteract the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and pursue economic recovery and resilience in the post-pandemic era. International trade and investment are important ways of achieving the UN’s 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs). At the same time, the international economic legal order, based on a web of trade and investment norms and standards, provides the predictability and certainty needed for governments to join forces to advance the SDGs. This year’s CIBEL Global Network Conference on “International Economic Law and Sustainability” brings experts from a variety of disciplines and jurisdictions to explore some of the systemic challenges faced by the international trade regime and international investment regime and the ways to overcome these challenges to ensure trade and investment policies contribute to sustainable and inclusive development.

Session 1: Trade and Sustainability

International trade and the rules-based global trading system are facing unprecedented challenges. Sustainability, in this context, concerns not only the pursuit of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) but also the sustainability of international institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and of international relations between major trading partners. This session will offer insightful discussions around the nexus between trade and SDGs, the role of the WTO in facilitating the achievement of SDGs and the importance of cooperation between states to trade, development and beyond.


Weihuan Zhou is Associate Professor, Director of Research, at UNSW Law and Justice and CIBEL member. He has published widely in the field of international economic law (IEL), particularly on the nexus between international trade law and China. He is currently co-Secretary of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) and editorial board member of the Journal of International Trade Law and Policy. Dr Zhou is a qualified lawyer in Australia and consults for governments and major companies on trade remedy cases and other cross-border trade and investment matters.


Dr. Amrita Bahri is Associate Professor of International Trade Law at ITAM and Co-Chair Professor for WTO Chair Program (Mexico). Amrita has published in the areas of international trade law, WTO dispute settlement, capacity-building in emerging economies, trade and gender. She has authored the monograph Public Private Partnership for WTO dispute settlement: Enabling Developing Countries (Edward Elgar, 2018). Her academic articles are published in prestigious journals including Journal of International Economic Law, World Trade Review, Journal of World Trade, Trade, Law & Development, Global Trade & Customs Journal, and Journal of International Trade Law & Policy. Working with ITC’s team, Amrita has designed the very first framework to measure gender-responsiveness of free trade agreements. She explains this framework in ITC’s policy paper titled “Mainstreaming Gender in Free Trade Agreements”.

Manjiao Chi is Professor and Founding Director, Center for International Economic Law and Policy (CIELP), Law School, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), China. His research covers international economic law and policy, dispute settlement, and sustainable development. He is author of many books and articles, frequent speaker in international conferences, consultant for several international organizations, lecturer for the Hague Academy of International Law and the UN Audiovisual Library of International Law, founding editor of the Asian Yearbook of International Economic Law, visiting professor in leading law schools across the world, arbitrator in numerous international and domestic disputes, and enlisted as a chairperson candidate for EU TSD Expert Panel Proceedings. He is, among others, Deputy Chair, UNCITRAL Academic Forum on ISDS; Member, ILA Committee of Rule of Law and International Investment Law; Co-chair, American Society of International Law Asian Pacific Interest Group; Executive Council Member, Chinese Society of International Law. He holds BA, LLM and PhD in law degrees.

Bryan Mercurio is the Simon FS Li Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Specializing in international economic law, Professor Mercurio’s work focuses on the intersection between trade law and intellectual property rights, free trade agreements, trade relations with China, trade in services and international investment law. Professor Mercurio previously taught in the faculty of law at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), worked as a trade negotiator and policy officer and practiced international trade, intellectual property and commercial law in the United States and Australia. He is a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School, Visiting Professor at the KDI School and a frequent consultant and advisor to governments, industry associations and law firms on a wide range of trade and investment matters.

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