WTO: DG calls on Gulf ministers’ support to implement MC12 outcomes and chart path to MC13

Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visited the United Arab Emirates and Oman on February 13-14, 2023, where she met His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, and His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik in Oman. She also met other high-level dignitaries and private sector representatives in the two countries. In addition, she met trade ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss how to best implement outcomes from the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) and to prepare for MC13 in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.

At the DG’s high-level meeting in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum was accompanied by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, HE Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit, HE Abdullah Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and HE Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Foreign Trade.

Earlier in the day, the DG participated in the World Government Summit, where she delivered remarks on “Post Globalization: What’s Next for Global Trade?” She also spoke at a session on “Making Digital Trade Work for All”, where she conversed with young African digital entrepreneurs. Another event she attended was “the Road to COP28: Lunch with Climate Leaders”.

The Director General also met separately with HE Thani Zeyoudi to discuss prospects for the 13th Ministerial Conference and visited the venue for MC13 in Abu Dhabi.

In Oman, following her meeting with His Majesty Haitham Bin Tarik, she met HE Qais Bin Mohamed Al Yousef, Oman’s Minister of Trade, and other cabinet ministers. She also conversed with private sector representatives at the Omani Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

During her visit to Oman, DG Okonjo-Iweala and Minister Qais Al Youssef, in his capacity as GCC chair, presided over a meeting with GCC trade ministers. The Director-General called on GCC ministers to support implementation of MC12 outcomes and to contribute to making MC13 a success. She said: “Between the LDC summit in Doha next month, COP28 in Dubai this December and our 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi next February, this region will be in the cockpit of global policymaking in the year ahead.” Ministers’ desire to focus on “the role your countries can play in making MC13 a success is one more sign of the GCC’s commitment to the multilateral trading system and the WTO,” she added.

Earlier in the day, the Director-General and Minister Qais Al Youssef launched a technical workshop on fisheries subsidies organized by the WTO Secretariat for high-level officials from Arab countries. Both leaders also visited a local fish market in Muscat,  Oman.