Statement by Chair and Vice Chairs

We, the Chair and Vice Chairs of the World Trade Organization’s Ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9), are convinced that agreement on the Bali package at the 9th Ministerial Conference is an essential step for growth, trade and development.  This is why we are concerned with the developments in Geneva this week when the Director General advised members that we do not have agreement on the texts necessary to ensure success in Bali. It is too soon to declare failure, however, and we are determined to use MC9 as the opportunity to finalize a deal.

We believe that with the right political engagement, Members can make the necessary compromises to conclude the Bali Package. All of the remaining difficulties can be overcome with sufficient political will. The landing zones are reachable. Trade negotiations are never easy but we recognize that substantial progress has been made in the past few months. 

We urge all WTO Members to come together over the next few days to make the necessary breakthroughs, working closely with WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo.

A deal on Trade Facilitation will cut the costs of trading on a global scale by removing onerous red tape at the border through a range of simple and high-impact measures for all 159 WTO Members. Currently, up to seven per cent of the value of global trade is lost in inefficiencies at the border. In addition, outcomes on agriculture, covering food security issues, export subsidies and improvements to the tariff rate quota system, as well as elements benefitting Least Developed Countries, form a critical part of the Bali package and specifically respond to the Doha Round’s development dimension.

A successful outcome in Bali will benefit everyone and will give a great boost to the multilateral system. Trade lifts millions out of poverty. We echo the Director General’s view that, “not a single human being living in poverty anywhere in the world will be better off if we fail at Bali”.

We fully support Director General Azevedo’s efforts to conclude the Bali Package and call on fellow Trade Ministers to show the necessary flexibility and willingness to work together to achieve a substantive deal.

Chair HE Gita Wirjawan — Minister of Trade, Indonesia
Vice Chair Lord Stephen Green — Minister of Trade and Investment, United Kingdom
Vice Chair HE Francois Kanimba — Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda
Vice Chair Excme Sra. Magali Silva Velarde-Alvarez — Minister for Trade and Tourism, Peru

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