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Sunday, April 20, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Bharath appeals for end to WTO deadlock
BALI, Indonesia—Trade Minister Vasant Bharath has appealed to participants at a Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Bali, Indonesia, to use political will to take the talks forward and achieve agreement, “Notwithstanding the current deadlock of the Doha Development Agenda, Trinidad and Tobago strongly believes that the World Trade Organization and the multilateral trading system can still meet the hopes and aspirations of all segments of society, not least amongst them, the poor and vulnerable,” he said.
The Doha Development Agenda which was launched in 2001 was a pivotal point in the history of the WTO since it brought key development issues to the heart of trade negotiations and with it, the promise of rebalancing trade in favour of the more vulnerable countries. T&T, as a small developing country, continues to invest in the success of the multilateral trading system as an important framework for the growth and development of international trade.
“In the context of trade facilitation, Trinidad and Tobago supports the adoption of a balanced approach which links the disciplines to the technical assistance and special and differential treatment required for developing countries to implement them,” Bharath said.
“As a net food importing developing country, we are in support of proposals intended to promote food security. Trinidad and Tobago supports the initiative to make special and differential provisions more precise, operational and effective for the benefits to be realized by developing countries.” Significant to the post-Bali work programme is a focus on issues that are very important to the groups in which T&T operates, such as Caricom, particularly development support towards advancement of the activities of smaller economies.
Bharath urged participants to let their actions during the week’s discussions not only send a symbolic message that the WTO continues to be credible and relevant, but also to outline pragmatic steps that are likely to lift many populations out of world poverty and to provide hope for the near future. Accompanying Bharath at the conference are John Sandy, Permanent RepresT&TTrinidad and Tobago, Geneva. The 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Bali ends today.
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