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The Future Of Free Trade

French Minister of Trade to address Free Trade Agreements Conference

Over 300 regional free trade agreements have been notified to the World Trade Organisation, which is a sharp departure from the previously intended multilateral trade regime.

In light of this surge in regional free trade agreements and the recent breakdown of the Doha Round, French Minister for Trade, The Honourable Christine Lagarde, will headline a conference on the Gold Coast to discuss “Free Trade Agreements: Where is the World Heading?”

Hosted by the Bond University Faculty of Law and Tim Fischer Centre for Global Trade and Finance, the two-day conference on March 9 & 10 will also include addresses by The Honourable Tim Fischer, former Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, along with prominent scholars from Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The international, interdisciplinary conference will see participants share research findings, explore the implications of the changing landscape of world trade and draw lessons for the future.

Agenda items include: “Multilateralism, the Doha Round and the Hong Kong Declaration”, presented by the Honourable Christine Lagarde, French Minister of Foreign Trade; international law and political economy perspectives on free trade agreements; regional and bilateral free trade agreements; culture, environment and human rights issues; and the future of world trade.

Ms Lagarde will also be the keynote speaker at the 6th Gerard Brennan Lecture, where she will speak on "Law as an incentive for attractiveness to foreign investment and performance for globalisation".

Ms Lagarde was ranked 30th on the Forbes list of the World's Most Powerful Women in 2006 and was the first woman to head the executive committee of law firm Baker & McKenzie, where she championed the "client first" mentality. Ms Lagarde has also been awarded France's highest honour, the Legion of Honour.

The lecture will be held at the Bond University Cerum Theatre on Friday March 9, at 5.30pm. It will be followed by a black-tie dinner, with limited tickets still available at $80p.p.

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