Heads of Delegation, chaired by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo/ Photo: Courtesy

By SME Digital Correspondent

World Trade Organization DG Roberto Azevedo on Monday urged WTO members to advance preparations for the 11th Ministerial Conference with a much greater sense of clarity and purpose

The conference which will be held in December this year in Buenos Aires will be hosted by Argentina’s Minister for Foreign Relations Susana Malcorra.

“Members have been very active in recent weeks. They have been exploring different areas and in some of them they are beginning to move towards higher levels of specificity. We have seen a number of new papers and ideas being put forward — covering issues such as domestic regulation, trade remedies, services facilitation and investment facilitation,” said DG Azevedo.

The Director-General gave members his assessment of the state of play in negotiations after his consultations in recent weeks, which included bilateral visits to Sweden, Finland and Portugal.

He added: “My hope is that we can sustain this prevailing momentum and positive engagement,” he continued. “Of course this should include steps on development and in support of LDCs — as well as steps in those areas where action is mandated at MC11, such as public stockholding. The forthcoming Aid for Trade Global Review will help to put a very welcome spotlight on some of these issues.”

During the meeting the Chairs of the Negotiating Groups also briefed members on their recent consultations. Around 45 members took the floor in the subsequent debate.

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