Current Issues in International Trade &

Kazakhstan – Commodities Powerhouse and Eurasian Financial Hub

September 26th 2018, 17:00-18:30

Venue: Lugano Convention Centre (Room B), Piazza Indipendenza 4, Lugano (Switzerland)



Thomas Patrick, President, LCTA


Interview with Niall Meagher, Executive Director of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL), by Dr. Pietro Poretti, Head of Economic Development, City of Lugano

The ongoing tariff confrontation is roiling markets, creating volatility and uncertainty and steel and metals are among the first victims. Despite multiple threats of major retaliation, the global economy is not descending into chaos. Can the World Trade Organization (WTO), now in its second decade of existence, effectively force governments to play by the rules? The WTO is the only multilateral instrument governing international trade and has a unique dispute settlement mechanism.


Temirlan Mukhanbetzhanov, Manging Director, Astana International Financial Centre Authority (AIFC)

Commodity traders know Kazakhstan for its abundant fossil fuel reserves and vast deposits of minerals and metals including uranium, zinc and copper. In 2018 the country formally launched the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). With English as the main language and U.K. securities and corporate law, the AIFC embodies the reformist and forward-thinking approach of the Kazakh Government and aims to become Eurasia’s first financial hub.

18.30 NETWORKING APERO at the Ciani Restaurant

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Mr. Niall Meagher has been the Executive Director of the ACWL since July 2012.  In this capacity, he manages the day-to-day operations of the ACWL and represents the ACWL externally.  Mr. Meagher also serves ex officio on the ACWL’s Management Board. Before becoming Executive Director, Mr. Meagher had been Senior Counsel at the ACWL since September 2004.  In this capacity, he assisted ACWL Members and LDCs in WTO dispute settlement proceedings before WTO panels, the Appellate Body, and arbitrators, and prepared numerous legal opinions on issues of WTO law. Prior to joining the ACWL, Mr. Meagher was a partner in the international trade and dispute resolution practice of the law firms of Sidley Austin LLP, and, previously, Powell Goldstein LLP, in Washington, DC. He represented both governments and interested private parties in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, international investment disputes, and in domestic customs and trade remedy proceedings before national regulatory authorities.