SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER ATTENDS INFORMAL WTO MEETING IN NEW DELHI

PRETORIA– South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is in new Delhi to attend an informal ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) being held in the Indian capital on Monday and Tuesday.

The purpose of the informal WTO Ministers meeting in New Delhi is for Ministers to engage on free and frank discussions on the issues in the WTO to safeguard and strengthen the multilateral trading system, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said in a statement here Monday.

The meeting in New Delhi follows the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December, last year, when the lack of substantial outcomes, especially on outstanding issues in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), revealed the scope and depth of divergences among WTO member countries.

The Buenos Aires meeting also exposed the lack of a shared understanding among countries on the issues of development. The DDA is the latest trade negotiation round of the WTO, which commenced in November 2001 with the objective to lower trade barriers around the world to facilitate increased global trade.

The Indian Government which is organizing this meeting, expressed the hope that this will lead to political guidance on some of the major issues, both at the negotiating table and also provide an opportunity for Ministers to share ideas on issues they consider to be critical for reinvigorating the WTO, the dti statement said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK