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WTO has played to provide ‘stability, transparency and predictability for international trade’: Thani Al Zeyoudi

ABU DHABI: In his welcoming speech to the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13), Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Chair of MC13, stressed the historically important role the WTO has played to provide “stability, transparency and predictability for international trade,” contributing to “raising living standards, improving employment opportunities and enabling the expansion of trade in goods and services” around the world.

The opening session saw the adoption of the accessions of the Comoros and Timor-Leste, both least-developed countries.

The President of Comoros, Azali Assoumani, and the President of Timor-Leste, José Manuel Ramos-Horta, signed the respective Protocols of Accession to the WTO, which were also signed by WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Both governments will now submit their protocols for ratification by their legislative assemblies. In keeping with WTO rules, Comoros and Timor-Leste will become members of the WTO 30 days following the deposit
of their respective instruments of acceptance of the Protocol.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said, “The decisions we have just taken on the accession of the Comoros – an island LDC in Africa – and the accession of Timor-Leste – an island LDC in Asia – testify to the world’s confidence in the WTO and the multilateral trading system. I strongly believe that through their future membership in the WTO, Comoros and Timor-Leste will have stable and predictable frameworks for economic engagement with other nations which will boost trade, growth and prosperity.”

The MC13 opening ceremony also saw a wave of acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Eight members deposited their instruments of acceptance of the Agreement, putting the historic agreement for ocean sustainability on track for entry into force at a record pace. Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, Chad, Malaysia, Norway, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Togo and Trkiye presented their instruments of acceptance to Director-General Okonjo-Iweala.

The MC13 Chair added, “This is
a testament to your governments’ commitment to the sustainability of our oceans and to ensuring that multilaterally negotiated outcomes in the WTO are not only agreed – but implemented. As one of the early ratifiers, the United Arab Emirates welcomes the new ratifications as a reaffirmation of this collective commitment.”

Source: Emirates News Agency