BUSINESS, TRADE AND THE WTO

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The recommendations focus on three main elements: strengthening the role of the WTO in response to global challenges; establishing a new work programme for the WTO covering priority issues for business; and providing support to WTO members in their MC11 discussions and beyond.

DG Azevêdo said:

"I want to thank the ICC and the global business community for these recommendations and for the fantastic engagement that we are seeing between the private sector and the WTO. I welcome this strong show of support, and these constructive ideas about how we can strengthen the trading system and take our work forward in future. Businesses from around the world, from developed and developing countries alike, have already played a significant role in informing and shaping some of the conversations that WTO members are having today. I have no doubt that this constructive engagement will continue to grow and develop, and that members will review these recommendations with interest."

The Business Forum was organised by the Ministry of Production of Argentina, together with the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and the B20, the business arm of the G20. The opening session featured interventions by: the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri; DG Azevedo; Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma; CEO of Mercado Libre, Marcos Galperin; Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Amina Mohamed; and Argentina's Minister of Production, Francisco Cabrera.

Speaking at the opening session of the Business Forum, President Macri said (translated from Spanish):

"This is the first time in history that a business forum is organized in the context of a WTO Ministerial Conference. This has much to do with our willingness to dialogue, to include the private sector in the conversation and bring them directly to the table to discuss how world trade should be. It is from that exchange that the best ideas and the best rules come forward. The more fluid that relationship is, the greater the impact on people's lives."

President Macri's speech to the Business Forum is available here, in Spanish.

DG Azevêdo's speech to the Business Forum is available here.

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