THURSDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2011
Breakfast meeting for Ministers of least-developed countries
Director-General Pascal Lamy hosted a breakfast meeting for the Ministers of least-developed countries (LDCs) on Thursday 15 December, from 08.00 to 10.00 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Geneva. The breakfast allowed a dialogue between LDC Ministers, the WTO Secretariat, the Executive Secretariat of the Enhanced Integrated Framework and the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the link between market opening and trade capacity-building.
Other WTO Ministerials:
> Geneva 30 Nov. - 2 Dec. 2009
> Hong Kong 13–18 Dec 2005
> Cancún 10–14 Sept. 2003
> Doha 9–14 Nov. 2001
> Seattle 30 Nov.–3 Dec. 1999
> Geneva 18 & 20 May 1998
> Singapore 9–13 Dec. 1996
The Director-General opened the dialogue. His address was followed by some brief opening remarks by the Minister of Bangladesh as the current LDC Coordinator in the WTO. This was followed by an open dialogue among the Ministers and other participants. The Executive Director of the ITC, Mrs Patricia Francis, moderated the meeting.
The meeting focused on three issues:
- proactive membership of the WTO — empowering LDCs to be active members of the WTO and to shape the multilateral trade agenda. Emphasis was on identifying areas where technical assistance should be focused. Discussion also covered work that will need to be done to take forward and implement the LDC-specific issues to be included in the Ministerial Conference outcome document.
- demand for results — within a period of financial constraints, the demand for results has greatly increased as a determining factor of funding decisions. The LDCs, jointly with their development partners, have a major role to play in this. The discussion sought to identify where the focus should be for showing results.
- competitiveness — how the imperative for growth and the role of the private sector can help convert market access opportunities into actual trade benefits.
For each of these three issues, there were two lead speakers who made a few remarks to open the dialogue, after which a discussion followed.
Concluding remarks on the dialogue were given by Deputy Director-General Mrs Valentine Rugwabiza.