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Home BUSINESSWTO Nairobi meeting ends with major breakthrough on global trade
Sun, 20 Dec, 2015 02:03:16 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, Dec 19

The 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi came to an end on Saturday after an extended negotiating period with a new Nairobi Declaration that promises to keep the international trading system alive.

     Key outcomes out of the conference included an agreement on the elimination of agricultural export subsidies, expansion of the list of information and technology products for tariff reduction, and the accessions of Liberia and Afghanistan into the world trade body.

     "We are creating a new habit of success," said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, referring to the first major successful conclusion of a ministerial conference since 2001.

     "The decisions will improve the lives of the people of Africa. The process was not perfect but we have delivered," he said.

     According to the WTO Nairobi Declaration adopted at the conference, developed members shall immediately eliminate their scheduled export subsidies and all members shall not seek to raise their export subsidies beyond the average of the past 5 years on a product basis.

     Azevedo said the outcome of the conference on eliminating the domestic support to large scale producers of food was historic.

     "The decisions are most historic. The elimination of the export subsidies is extremely important. It removes distortions and helps create a level playing field," Azevedo said.

     Celebrating the successful outcome of the Conference, Kenyan foreign minister and the conference's chairperson Amina Mohammed, said the outcomes were significant.

     Nairobi, she added, would be remembered for overcoming the 14-year disagreement on the next course of action on a global trade regime.

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