DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL ANGELA ELLARD
DDG Ellard started by noting that, at MC12, WTO members achieved important outcomes, which demonstrates their belief in the importance of the WTO and the multilateral trading system. In particular, she noted the importance of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, which is the second multilateral agreement concluded by WTO members since the establishment of the organization. She emphasized the importance of prompt ratification of the Agreement by two-thirds of the WTO membership to secure its entry into force as well as continuation of the second wave of negotiations to achieve a comprehensive set of disciplines on fisheries subsidies.
At the same, DDG Ellard noted that WTO members are not resting on their laurels, and that work continues in several areas to achieve outcomes critical for MC13’s success, such as the second wave of fish negotiations, agriculture, e-commerce and development.
DDG Ellard also noted that recent WTO research on the economic effects of the war in Ukraine demonstrates that the worst-case scenario for the global economy has been avoided. She said trade growth was above the WTO trade forecast from April 2022 (around 3 per cent) and substantially higher than the more pessimistic predictions for 2022. Supply chains are also rebounding, and trade in intermediate goods within supply chains grew by 4 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, when measured in terms of trade in intermediate goods, DDG Ellard said. If you value the WTO, she told the audience, please help us make the case that it is worth investing in and reinvigorating.