ELEVENTH WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE
The meeting in Marrakesh was attended by more than 30 delegations representing countries from various regions and at different levels of development. The meeting was jointly convened and chaired by the Governments of Morocco and Argentina, and WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo took part.
After the meeting, the Minister chairing MC11 issued the following statement:
“A ministerial meeting was held in Marrakesh (Morocco) on 9 and 10 October as part of the preparatory process for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires (MC11, 10-13 December 2017).
The meeting was chaired by the Moroccan Minister of Industry, Investment, International Trade and the Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid El-Alami, and co-chaired by Minister Susana Malcorra, Chair of MC11. WTO-Director-General Roberto Azevêdo participated.
The purpose of the meeting, which took place two months ahead of MC11, was to identify priorities and common ground in the positions of WTO Members.
The atmosphere at the meeting was positive and constructive, and most of the 37 participating delegations undertook to make every effort to enable the WTO to reach decisions in Buenos Aires in December that strengthen the multilateral trading system. Over the two days of discussions, the main areas of interest that could become agenda items for MC11 were identified.
Agricultural trade reform, the prohibition of fisheries subsidies and the regulation of trade in services were common topics of interest. In addition, it was stressed that the WTO agenda needed to be adapted to reflect the challenges of the 21st-century trade agenda and include topics such as MSMEs, investment facilitation and e-commerce, which should be addressed in the work undertaken after the meeting in Buenos Aires.
The Ministers agreed that trade is a fundamental tool for development, in keeping with the goals of Agenda 2030, and for economic growth and industrialization in the developing countries.
In their closing remarks, the Chairs highlighted the political commitments made and called for the preparatory work for MC11 to continue.
The Ministers left Marrakesh firmly resolved to continue supporting the negotiations so that MC11 reaffirms both the centrality and relevance of the rules-based international trading system and the WTO's key role as the forum for determining the rules regulating the system.”