The Director-General said:
"I want to thank the Indian government, and Minister Prabhu in particular, for convening this Informal Ministerial meeting. I am very pleased that India has taken this step, which comes at a key moment in global trade. This shows India’s engagement with and commitment to the multilateral trading system – and real leadership as well.
"In assessing the outlook after the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in December, there are important positives on which we need to build. Members committed to continuing negotiations on all issues, including on those areas where progress has eluded us since the launch of the Doha Round. But if we want to make progress on these vital issues, we need to face up to the problems before us. The pledges of support for the system that we often hear need to be matched by deeds. A frank and meaningful dialogue on how we can move forward is essential here, and this Ministerial meeting convened by India provides a timely and valuable opportunity to do so. This is the time to show our support for the trading system.
"This is particularly important given the current scenario. In recent weeks, we have seen the spectre of protectionism rising again. This is of real concern. I am talking to all sides to try to resolve this situation. It is also worrying that members are yet to find a solution for the current impasse in the nominations for the Appellate Body. This is a serious concern for us all – as the disputes function underpins the whole trading system. I am working with members here, and urging them to actively engage towards finding potential solutions. More than ever, we need to keep strengthening the multilateral trading system. We must ensure that the system is robust, and that it is responsive to its members' needs and priorities."
During his visit to India, the Director-General also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu, and spoke at the Confederation of Indian Industry. His remarks can be found here.