12 and 14 October 2005

Concluding remarks by the Chairperson

See also:
> Press release: Improved trade regime but good governance and trade diversification remain major challenges

This second Trade Policy Review of the Republic of Guinea has given us the opportunity to analyse the country's economic and trade development over the past six years and to acquire a better understanding of the serious challenges involved. The delegation of Guinea, headed by H.E. Mrs Hadja Djènè Saran Camara, Minister of Trade, Industry and the SMEs, was extremely helpful in this respect. I would also like to thank Mr Farhane for his very positive contribution, and all of the Member countries that contributed to the success of this Review.

Given the difficult economic, social, and regional context that the country has had to contend with, Members commended Guinea for its effort to strengthen its legal and regulatory framework, and for its poverty reduction policy. The new monetary and fiscal policies should help to control inflation and restore the macroeconomic stability needed to revive growth and to secure the support of the international community. Members also took note of Guinea's exchange rate liberalization. Certain speakers stressed that a new law on corruption should contribute to improving governance which, we must remember, remains a major challenge.

In the trade regulation area, Members appreciated the reforms leading to the unification of customs levies and to the elimination of preshipment inspection procedures, as well as the efforts to improve transparency in government procurement. However, many of the applied duties exceed the bound rates, and tariff exemptions are common in certain sectors. Several participants enquired about the implementation of the Customs Valuation Agreement, while others asked how Guinea intended to combat the massive imports of pirated goods.

At the sectoral level, Members stressed Guinea's wealth in natural resources and its economic potential, observing that several sectors, such as agriculture, mining, tourism, and transport, could contribute to the country's economic growth. They encouraged Guinea to take on further commitments within the WTO, if only to make its legislative framework more predictable, thereby attracting investment.

Members welcomed the replies given by the delegation of Guinea and looked forward with interest to receiving further information. Many of them pointed to the importance of providing Guinea with technical, financial and material support.

In conclusion, this meeting has enabled Members to express their support for Guinea in the face of difficult economic and social circumstances. Our discussions have convinced us that Guinea is sticking courageously to the path of reform, aware that an open and transparent trade framework is the best way of boosting trade and hence supporting sustainable economic growth. I fully associate myself with Members in encouraging Guinea to pursue its macroeconomic and trade reforms, and I urge Members to support Guinea in this effort by guaranteeing both assistance and improved access to their markets for its products and its service suppliers.