The Director-General said:
“China's transformation over the last 40 years has been truly remarkable. I am pleased that the WTO has been part of this historic journey, by facilitating the process of opening-up, reform and liberalisation. Looking ahead, we need trade and the trading system to continue playing their full role in fuelling growth – just as they have over the last 40 years. However this could be undermined by the current tensions in global trade. Continued escalation is a real possibility, so this is an extremely serious situation. It threatens stability, jobs and growth. We have to act now, both to ease tensions and strengthen the trading system.
“The situation is unprecedented, both in terms of risks and opportunities. The stakes are higher than ever. Doing nothing is not an option. We need significant political engagement and political will to ensure that the trading system is equipped to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. I hope that we will see this at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires at the end of the month. I will be there – and I will be bringing a very clear message about the need to preserve and strengthen the trading system in the interests of all. I count on China's continued leadership and engagement to that end.”