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WTO NEWS: 2000 PRESS RELEASES

Press/199
22 November 2000
The Director-General of the WTO will be paying an official visit to Latin America

WTO Director-General Mike Moore will be paying an official visit to five Latin American countries from 25 November to 6 December in order to examine their concerns regarding trade issues and to exchange views on matters of current interest in the economic field with the countries' authorities and with academic and business circles.

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During this first official visit to the region, Mr. Moore will be travelling to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and Brazil at the invitation of the leaders of those countries.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to visit Latin America”, said Mr. Moore with respect to his forthcoming trip. “The region includes a good number of countries that are staunch supporters of the WTO, and it is my intention to thank them for their contribution to the Organization and seek firm support for the launching of a new round of trade liberalization negotiations.”

The WTO Director-General also said that in his meetings with political leaders and representations of academic and business circles he wanted to “explain what the WTO does for people and respond to any concerns that are raised”.

In Chile, Mike Moore will meet with Government leaders and give a speech at the University of Chile on the subject “The WTO and the multilateral trading system: challenges ahead”, to be followed by a debate.

In Argentina, he will participate in a debate on regionalism and multilateralism at the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL). He will also be meeting Government members responsible for economic and trade policy.

In Uruguay, Mike Moore will participate in the opening ceremony of a conference on WTO and Mercosur trade dispute settlement systems. He will also be meeting political leaders and representatives of the Mercosur countries, of Chile and of Bolivia in Montevideo and visiting the headquarters of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI).

The main purpose of the Director-General's visit to Mexico is to attend the inaugural ceremony for the new President, Vicente Fox Quesada, to which Heads of State and directors of International Organizations have been invited.

In Brazil, Mike Moore will be in contact with many members of Government and representatives of business organizations.

“Like all of the Latin American countries, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and Brazil are important Members of the World Trade Organization in that they participate constructively and positively in our discussions”, said the Director-General, commenting on his forthcoming trip. “Although the programme is intensive and the schedule tight, I have high hopes for the meetings I will be attending and the contacts I will be establishing during my visit”.