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WTO agenda set for June meet

In focus: June ministerial meeting
Piyush Goyal with Apple's Tim Cook at WEF Davos on January 23

PTI   |   Davos   |   Published 25.01.20, 06:40 PM

Trade ministers from 35 member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including Piyush Goyal from India, met here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum 2020 to discuss the priorities and preparations for the June ministerial meeting of the global trade body.

The informal gathering of the WTO members and the WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo was held on Friday at the invitation of the Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin.

The group met to discuss and define their priorities for the 12th WTO ministerial conference to be held from June 8-11 at Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan, a post-meeting statement said. It said the meeting on the fringes of the WEF Davos summit was attended by 35 members of the WTO, who represent a wide spectrum of trade policy interests.

The ministers discussed their priorities with regard to ongoing WTO activities and processes. High up on the agenda were negotiations on fisheries subsidies and current efforts to reform the WTO, including further developing the existing framework of WTO rules, to improve transparency in the implementation of WTO agreements and proposals for restoring the appellate body of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

In his remarks at the meeting, Parmelin said the ministers expressed their resolve to preserve the credibility of the rule-based multilateral trading system. The ministers underlined the urgency of taking the necessary actions to restore a fully functioning dispute settlement system in line with its fundamental principles.

Some participants indicated that they were working towards contingency measures that would allow for appeals in their trade disputes, in the form of an interim appeal arrangement, until the appellate body becomes operational.

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