TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
Submitted by the WTO's Group of Small, Vulnerable Economies, the proposed decision calls for WTO members to address the issue of integrating small economies into post COVID-19 economic recovery by looking at the impact of the pandemic and the underlying challenges and opportunities faced by small economies. The chair, Ambassador Muhammad Mujtaba Piracha of Pakistan, praised WTO members on the outcome of their discussions: “This is a moment to celebrate because, for this Ministerial Conference, it is the first text to be consensually agreed by all members of the WTO.” The 12th Ministerial Conference will take place in Geneva from 30 November to 3 December.
The proposed decision also calls on the Dedicated Session on Small Economies to continue monitoring the progress of the small economies' proposals in WTO bodies and negotiating groups. In addition, the decision requests ministers to take note of the work undertaken to date in the Work Programme on Small Economies. The latest version of a WTO Secretariat compilation paper regarding this work is available here.
A Decision on Small Economies was adopted by trade ministers at the 11th Ministerial Conference held in Buenos Aires in 2017. The objective of the Work Programme on Small Economies is to frame responses to the trade-related issues regarding the integration of small, vulnerable economies into the multilateral trading system. More information on the Work Programme on Small Economies can be found here.
The draft decision can be found here.