DIRECTOR-GENERAL

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DG Azevêdo, speaking after the meeting, said:

"There is no doubt that the current trade tensions pose a huge challenge to the entire international community. They are having real economic effects. Our trade forecast for 2019 has been revised down to 1.2%. As recently as April, the projected growth figure was 2.6%. In everyone's interests, we must work to improve prospects for global trade. Strengthening trade multilateralism is essential, and the WTO is taking action.

"Reform is underway to make the WTO faster, more flexible and responsive to members' needs, and ensure that it can respond to the current global challenges. Discussions are ongoing on how to improve the functioning of the WTO, solve the impasse in the dispute settlement system, as well as strengthen our negotiating arm. We need members engaged on all fronts to make progress and strengthen trade multilateralism. I commend the Chancellor for her efforts here and look forward to working with her to this end."  

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