SA to participate in WTO meeting

Monday, March 19, 2018

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies will be attending an informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministers meeting in India today.

“The purpose of the informal WTO Ministers meeting in New Delhi is for Ministers to engage on free and frank discussions on the issues in the WTO to safeguard and strengthen the multilateral trading system,” said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

The two-day meeting in New Delhi follows the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) that took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 2017.  

The dti said the lack of substantial outcomes at MC11, especially on outstanding issues in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) revealed the scope and depth of divergences amongst countries.

It also highlighted the lack of a shared understanding between countries on development.

The DDA is the latest trade negotiation round of the WTO, which commenced in November 2001. Its objective is to lower trade barriers around the world to facilitate increased global trade.

“The Indian Government that is organising this meeting, expressed the hope that this will lead to political guidance on some of the major issues, both at the negotiating table and also provide an opportunity for Ministers to share ideas on issues they consider to be critical for reinvigorating the WTO,” said the dti.

The meeting will conclude on Tuesday. -

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