There are multiple trade pacts in the works in Asia, with nations taking part in several talks at once, including the notorious US-dominated transpacific TPP deal, its rival RCEP that includes China, Asia-Pacific's FTAAP, and Russia's Eurasian Economic Union.
"If all these mega agreements do the same, then we'll see that all these trade liberalization processes that are taking place in one agreement can instigate trade liberalization in other trade agreements," Tiziana Bonapace said.
"As long as there is some convergence… in the rules that are being negotiated under each mega trade initiative, then I think the trade initiatives can be mutually supportive. And one of the key contributors of ensuring that all these trade initiatives evolve in a way that is trade-creating is that there are WTO rules," the UN official said.
Concerns have recently been raised that US-spearheaded free trade deals with the Asia-Pacific would bypass WTO rules and give the upper hand to multinationals over national trade regulations.