Reconciling Regionalism and Multilateralism - Towards Multilevel Governance
Much ink has flowed on the question of the relationship between regionalism and multilateralism. There is still, however, no definitive answer. So the debate goes on. Is regionalism a substitute or a complement to multilateralism? Put another way, is regionalism a building block or a stumbling block to multilateralism? The re-invigoration of regionalism in developing countries over the past decade hasgiven a new twist to the old debate. Developing countries are increasingly turning to regionalism as a strategy for development (UNCTAD, 2005). But their regionalism is part of a multilevel strategy which needs to be synchronised with their national development plans as well as their efforts to achieve development friendly multilateral trade rules in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).