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World Trade Organization’s 10th Ministerial Conference in Africa Concludes
By admin December 18, 2015

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) concludes its 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya today. It is also celebrating its 20th anniversary, along with the accession of Afghanistan and Liberia to the organization.

Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade for Kenya, said in her opening statement that “The WTO represents something more and greater. In multilateral trade negotiations, parties are not just the like-minded – ‘like us.’ The world is not just composed of the like-minded. We reflect the rich and frustrating diversity of different priorities, different concerns and different approaches. This may not always approximate our goals, ideals, preferences and ambitions, but these are the cards that we have been dealt and which we must play.”

Speaking on the WTO’s 20th anniversary, Fernando de Mateo, Chairman of the WTO General Council said Tuesday that “As in all important anniversaries, a moment of reflection is required… This is a moment in which we should collectively look back and remind ourselves of the reasons why we are here – the reasons which underpin the creation of the multilateral trading system. A system which, together with the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, emerged out of the tragedies of the Second World War, and of the Great Depression before then… A system built on non-discrimination that functions in an inclusive and transparent manner. A system stacked towards the positive settlement of disputes, based on mutually agreed solutions. A system whose main objective is to contribute to sustainable development, raise people’s welfare, reduce poverty, and foster peace and stability through international economic cooperation.”

During this conference, members agreed on a landmark deal to eliminate tariffs on 201 information technology products valued at over $1.3 trillion per year. The previous ministerial conference, held in 2013 in Bali, concluded with the Bali Package, a trade agreement designed to lower global trade barriers. During this round, more domestic ratifications of this Trade Facilitation Agreement were received, bringing the total number of accepting WTO members to 63. Once two-thirds have completed the ratification process, it will go into force.

The conference comes as the Doha Development Round continues to linger after nearly 15 years of tense negotiations. This round was meant to boost the ability of poorer countries to compete in the global market, particularly by cutting agricultural subsidies and trade barriers.

For more information:

http://mc10nairobi.org/en/

https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tradfa_e/tradfa_e.htm

http://emansion.gov.lr/2press.php?news_id=3505&related=7&pg=sp

https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/archive_e/mc10_arc_e.htm

 

 

 


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