Robert Sturdy in Geneva for World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference
Geneva, Saturday 17th December 2011 – Fears that over the stalled Doha Development Round negotiations, which have dominated the multilateral environment for the last 10 years, were pushed aside this week, as the WTO held its 8th Ministerial in Geneva. Despite the lack of progress with a Doha agreement, the WTO managed to see the conclusion of a number of critical agreements. Perhaps the most important development has been the accession of Russia, which after 18 years of negotiations, was finally allowed to take its seat as a fully fledged member of the WTO.
The WTO Ministerial Conference, which is usually held every two years, is a high level meeting of all countries and customs unions to discuss important trade issues and make decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.
Mr. Sturdy, who is attending as part of the European Parliaments Trade Delegation, commented on the conference:
“Although it is now clear that a deal surrounding the Doha Development Round is dead, it is encouraging to see that the WTO is still making progress on multilateral level”
“This year’s ministerial conference has seen the conclusion of Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), the accession of new members including Russia and strong pledges against protectionism and the imposition of trade barriers”
“The conclusion of the GPA is an important step in the opening of markets, the dismantling barriers and boosting growth opportunities throughout the global economy. This has been a priority for the EU and is something that I have worked hard to ensure through my recent report on Barriers to Trade which was adopted by the Parliament this week. It is estimated that this agreement will open up extra procurement opportunities worth around £85 billion”
“One of the reasons that we have the WTO is to bring improved global governance and a more stable trading environment to the world economy and the more countries that are included in this system the better. Having four new members, including an important economy such as Russia, can only add strength to this system”
For further information contact: Robert Sturdy MEP– email@example.com
Tel: 01954 211790 or 0032 2284 7294