New ratifications of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and other WTO News

New ratifications of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and other WTO News

The WTO Trade Facilitation agreement have been recently ratified by the following countries

–        Iceland

–        The Philippines

–        Bahrain

–        Bangladesh

WTO members accept Argentina’s invitation to host 2017 Ministerial Conference

WTO members agreed at a meeting of the WTO’s General Council in early October 2016 to accept Argentina’s offer to host the organization’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) next year in Buenos Aires. Argentina will be the first South American country to host the biennial event

WTO 5The Ministerial Conference, which is attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organization’s 164 members, is the highest decision-making body of the WTO. Under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO, the Ministerial Conference is to meet at least once every two years. The last Ministerial Conference took place in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2015.

The dates for MC11 have not been fixed, but the meeting is likely to take place in early December 2017.

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo thanked both Argentina and Uruguay for offering to host the meeting, saying it demonstrated members’ belief in the multilateral trading system. Uruguay withdrew its offer to host the meeting in advance of the General Council meeting.

DG Azevêdo said that the consensus decision on the venue for MC11 “will put us on an excellent path” to follow up on the WTO’s earlier successful ministerial conferences in Bali in 2013 (MC9) and Nairobi (MC10).  It will “also focus minds on identifying deliverables” for the meeting in Buenos Aires, he added.

Argentina’s ambassador to the WTO, Hector Marcelo Cima, thanked members who voiced their support for Argentina’s bid and said he was certain, with everyone’s help, that WTO members would have a successful conference and fulfil the expectations that so many have placed on them.

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