Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LDCs seek greater access to global trade

KATHMANDU, Dec 2: The meeting of trade ministers of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday issued a four-point Bali Declaration reinforcing their demands for greater market access and other trade related supports to boost LDCs´ international trade.

The declaration was adopted on the eve of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

In the declaration, LDCs have demanded that developed and developing countries give Duty-Free-Quota-Free (DFQF) market access to goods originating in LDCs in line with the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration adopted in 2005.

Similarly, they have urged WTO member countries to adopt preferential rules of origin so as to help LDCs to boost their exports to the global market.

Likewise, the LDCs have called upon WTO member countries to assist them in expanding their export base in services by granting commercially meaningful preferences. The declaration also urges the WTO members to remove market access barriers for services supplied by LDCs.

The Bali declaration also reaffirms the readiness of LDCs to engage ´constructively´ in resolution of remaining issues in trade facilitation. LDCs hope that the Trade Facilitation Agreement will adequately take into account their interests and concerns.

In the declaration, LDCs have underlined the need to undertake commitments consistent with their individual development, financial and trade needs or their administrative and institutional capabilities.

The declaration also recognizes the importance of agriculture to the economies of LDCs and emphasizes the need of greater market access for LDCs as well as elimination of trade distorting support measures by developed countries.

The trade ministers of LDCs have also underscored the necessity for strengthening human and institutional capacity in their respective countries to deal with issues relating to the multilateral trading system.

The declaration has also reaffirmed the importance of continued Aid-for-Trade work under the auspices of WTO especially to help integrate LDCs in the context of international trade.

The LDCs have also urged the donor communities to provide them necessary support for the implementation of national and regional aid for trade strategies and help them to address constraints on improving supply-side and trade-related infrastructure.

LDCs have also expressed concern over the inability of WTO members in implementing the Hong Kong declaration that, among others, envisage special treatment for market access for cotton.

In the meeting, LDC trade ministers strongly urged the meaningful integration of LDCs into WTO and expressed concerns over the slow progress in Doha Development Agenda (DDA) for the fair access of LDCs to global market.

Ministers and other high-level officials of 34 LDC members of WTO and nine observers attended the meeting.

Nepal chairs LDC meeting

Nepal chaired the meeting of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the World Trade of Organization (WTO) in Bali of Indonesia on Monday.

Minister for Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) Shankar Prasad Koirala presided over the meeting of the Trade Ministers of the Consultative Group of LDCs held to prepare for the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference.

At the meeting, Koirala underlined the role of trade to reduce poverty and accelerate the pace of economic growth for sustainable development, according to the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva.

Addressing the meeting, Roberto Azevedo, director-General of the WTO, said works in WTO stand at a critical juncture as failure to deliver an outcome in Bali will paralyze the negotiating arm of the organization and that its relevance will be questioned.

However, he appreciated LDC Group´s constructive engagements during the negotiations of the proposed Bali package.

The facilitator for issues of LDCs in WTO, Ambassador Stephen Smidt of Denmark, also addressed the meeting.

Published on 2013-12-03 03:24:41

No comments:

Post a Comment