Davos: initial preparations for 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2024

Bern, 20.01.2023

At the invitation of Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, a group of ministers responsible for World Trade Organization (WTO) affairs and WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala met in Davos on 20 January 2023 to discuss further WTO negotiations. After the successful Ministerial Conference in Geneva last June, participants at the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi in February 2024 will expect to see some key outcomes from the negotiations to strengthen the WTO and the international trading system.

Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin

On the sidelines of the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, 23 members of the WTO participated in the informal ministerial meeting on January 20, 2023. A broad spectrum of trade interests was represented at the event.

Following on from the positive results of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Geneva last June, the ministers discussed their priorities for the next stages of negotiations. The focus was on implementation of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, trade and health issues in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, and current efforts to reform the WTO. The latter include the further development of the existing WTO rules, as well as measures to improve transparency in the implementation of the WTO agreements. Participants underlined the importance of restoring a fully functioning dispute settlement mechanism for the global trading system.

The informal ministerial meeting provided an opportunity to give political direction and impetus to preparations for the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference. This will take place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in February 2024. Switzerland’s trade policy, which is closely integrated into international value chains, is based on the rules-based multilateral trading system of the WTO.

More information:

Personal conclusions of the Chair, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin (PDF, 98 kB)

List of participating Ministers (PDF, 171 kB)