SA: Developmental issues essential at WTO

A developmental mandate is an imperative for the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) ministerial conference that will be held in Geneva, Switzerland this week from December 15 to 17, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies says.

Davies will lead the country’s delegation to the upcoming eighth session of the WTO Ministerial Conference. The delegation will include Members of Parliament, government, labour, business and community.

Davies has emphasised that South Africa wants the developmental mandate to remain central at the session. He says that both African countries and Brics members share the view that development issues are fundamental.

“There is consensus among developing nations in Africa, as well among Brazil, Russia, India and China, that the development agenda as agreed on during the 2001 Doha meeting, must not be compromised in favour of developed countries’ interests”, he said.

The developmental agenda was agreed during talks in Doha in 2001. It relates to issues important to developing countries like reforming trade rules for agriculture, and duty-free, quota-free access for the least-developed countries in the global trading regime.

Davies added that South Africa’s membership of the Brics will enhance the countries participation. — I-Net Bridge

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