Expect intense engagement on DDA issues in September: WTO Director General

Expect intense engagement on DDA issues in September: WTO Director General

Though WTO has missed the deadline to discuss remaining issues of the Doha Development Agenda, Azevêdo is confident that they can deliver like they did in Bali

The Dollar Business Bureau

As World Trade Organisation (WTO) misses its deadline of July 31, to deliver a work programme on the remaining issues of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), the WTO said that the result is very disappointing and should not become an obstacle to achieving outcomes at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December. Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told the WTO members that “This missed deadline does not represent a barrier to delivering in Nairobi – but it should be a wake-up call about our prospects for success.” Doha Development Agenda also known as the Doha round is a round of trade negotiations among the WTO membership with a fundamental objective is to improve the trading prospects of developing countries. It was launched in Qatar’s capital in November 2001 for tariff reduction in agriculture and industrial goods. Assessing the overall situation, Azevêdo said in September, WTO will move on from questions of process and instead put an intense, relentless focus on substance. “I can see potential outcomes in a number of areas, particularly on the LDC issues, but it will depend on how fast we can move in the second half of the year,” added the Director- General. Azevêdo is confident and said that the WTO can deliver like it did in Bali. “As we look to the task ahead, I think we should be confident. We know that we can deliver. We did it in Bali, and we showed it again in the last few days,” he said. WTO concluded two decades of negotiations on Monday, when members approved the accession of Kazakhstan. And last week, with the breakthrough on expansion of the ITA, the stage was set WTO's first tariff-cutting agreement in 18 years. The recent achievement shows that the WTO is negotiating, and it shows that members are prepared to use innovative approaches to achieve results. And hence the Director General asked its members to take inspiration from this. A missed deadline for Azevêdo does not mean the end of WTO’s discussion, but he feels the organisation has a real chance of delivering meaningful outcomes in Nairobi.      

August 01, 2015 | 4:37 pm IST.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 01, 2015 12:00 IST