The Director-General said he welcomed the strong personal engagement of ministers in the discussion of the multilateral trading system led by the Chair of the meeting Minister for Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru, Magali Silva. In her statement, Minister Silva noted:
“Ministers highly commend the meaningful outcomes achieved at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (MC10), held in Nairobi, Kenya. In this regard, they express their firm commitment to continue working towards strengthening a rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO.
“Recognizing all elements of the Nairobi Ministerial Declaration, Ministers agree to play a constructive role in revitalizing and strengthening the WTO’s negotiating function. They call on all WTO Members to actively participate, with a sense of urgency, in discussions to advance negotiations on remaining DDA issues, bearing in mind the centrality of development in the WTO’s work. To this end, they encourage concrete proposals and the political will needed to reach a consensus to resolve these important negotiating issues. At the same time, Ministers welcome efforts by members to explore issues of common interest and importance to the global economy. There is a strong support to encourage all WTO Members to set the direction for future work together, in a spirit of solidarity and mutual trust, with a view to producing tangible outcomes in support of the multilateral trading system, including at MC11.”
APEC ministers also gave their strong support for the implementation of Bali and Nairobi outcomes, including the entry into force as soon as possible of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement on which APEC has played a key role. It was noted in the statement that “the entry into force of the TFA by the end of 2016 would significantly contribute to the increase of global trade”.
During the meeting ministers discussed how to deliver the remaining issues of the Doha Round and how other issues of common interest might be explored. Micro, small and medium enterprises, e-commerce and the relationship between trade and investment all featured in the discussion.
According to the statement, APEC trade ministers “further urge the WTO to continue its work in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth through various initiatives to increase the participation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in regional and global markets”.
The Director-General said:
“APEC members have always been hugely supportive of the WTO and the multilateral trading system, and have a strong track-record of providing leadership on some of the key issues at the WTO. This support will remain vital. Political backing at the ministerial level is essential — now, throughout discussions in Geneva, and in the lead up to the next ministerial conference.”
The APEC Chair’s statement is available here.The Director-General’s speech from the meeting is available here.