Members hope for outcomes on key issues at WTO's 12th ministerial meeting

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 16, 2022
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During the ongoing 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, numerous members reiterated the WTO's fundamental role in the multilateral trading regime, hoping that the MC12 will achieve results on key issues pertaining to institutional reform and trade negotiations.

The delegation of Kazakhstan said that Kazakhstan is a strong supporter of the multilateral trading system and actively supports reforms to address the institutional challenges the WTO is facing today.

Kazakhstan considers it crucial to deliver meaningful multilateral outcomes on key issues such as the pandemic response, COVID-related intellectual property rights, food security and fisheries subsidies.

According to the delegation of Kenya, the ministerial meeting is being held amid an unprecedented economic situation caused by the pandemic and prevailing geopolitical trends, which have presented both trade-related challenges and opportunities.

The Kenyan delegation emphasized the important role of the multilateral trading system in the search for common solutions to cross-border challenges.

Noting the WTO is the only international body governing the rules of trade between nations, the delegation of Indonesia said the bedrock of the international trading system remains unchanged, calling for updating the WTO rulebook.

The Brazilian delegation said that the WTO has been facing serious challenges for some time: gridlocked negotiations, a non-functional Dispute Settlement Body and the need for modernizing reforms, and that their country hopes to revitalize the WTO.

The WTO can play a central role in the global response to economic and geopolitical challenges, said the delegation of the European Union, stressing that root-and-branch reform should focus on the WTO's dispute settlement, as well as its functions of trade negotiations and monitoring.

Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said that the WTO-centered multilateral trading system is the cornerstone of international trade, and China is willing to work with all parties to promote the WTO's role in world economic recovery.

China will continue to safeguard the multilateral trading system with concrete actions and support the WTO reform to move in the right direction, Wang said.

The reform of the WTO should reinforce its functions and promote economic globalization to benefit all members, said the minister.

The ministerial conference is generally held once every two years and attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organization's 164 members.

Kazakhstan was scheduled to host MC12 in June 2020, but the conference was postponed due to the pandemic.

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