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Minister Davies Calls for a Deeper Discussion on the Multilateral Trade System with a View to Promote Inclusive Growth

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and Deputy Minister Mr. Bulelani Magwanishe conclude their participation in the Informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Gathering in Morocco.
The Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering provided an opportunity for the exchange of views between the Trade Ministers invited and for the Ministers to provide guidance to the officials in Geneva on possible outcomes at the upcoming 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 2017. The meeting acknowledged that trade is an engine for growth and development and emphasised that WTO rules should contribute to structural transformation and industrial development, especially for Africa.  Furthermore, the meeting emphasised the importance of preserving the multilateral trading system.  

Minister Davies said that for the multilateral trade system to work, there is a need for a deeper discussion on multilateralism that promotes inclusive growth and development.

 “An arrangement that promotes winner takes all markets leaving many people behind is not sustainable,” added Davies.
He emphasised that all the issues discussed in the WTO should be from a development perspective.
South Africa’s priorities are aligned to those of the African Group and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group. The priority for these groups are to finish the outstanding work of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) including, in agriculture, to address the trade distorting domestic support subsidies being provided by mainly developed countries.

Minister Davies underscored the need for a Member driven process with technical discussion to take place in Geneva. He re-iterated his call that proponents of the different issues must make an honest assessment on which issues are matured enough to have an outcome by MC11.

“We need to be realistic and make a call soon on which issues sufficient convergence has been achieved to be taken forward as possible outcomes at MC11,” stated Minister Davies

He indicated that a work programme on issued to be taken forward post-MC11 will need to be defined carefully.

The Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering follows the Informal Africa Ministers of Trade meeting that was jointly hosted by South Africa and the African Union Commission (AUC) on 18 September 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Ministers and Head of delegations of the WTO member states attending the Informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Gathering in Morocco

Sidwell Medupe -Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
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