EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, met today with ministers from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) who are part of a ministerial gathering in Brussels this week. The trade leaders discussed the strategy for the way towards the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference to take place from 15 to 18 December 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Speaking in front of the ACP assembly, Commissioner Malmström reiterated the great importance that the EU attaches to the multilateral trading system and the Doha round. She expressed her disappointment that the lack of political will from many WTO Members makes it very hard to achieve a comprehensive agreement on all areas of the Doha Development Agenda.
The Commissioner highlighted the EU’s readiness to work constructively in view of reaching a more limited but still meaningful agreement in Nairobi that will take full account of the needs of the most vulnerable and least developed countries.
“This is a critical time for the WTO”, said Commissioner Malmström. “I really wish for the EU and ACP countries to stand side by side in trying to steer the discussion towards tangible results. Expanding opportunities to trade through the multilateral system is crucial to foster development and prosperity.”
The Commissioner outlined the EU position in the three main areas currently under discussion at the WTO in Geneva – agriculture export competition, development and transparency – and stressed the importance of identifying a viable way forward for WTO negotiations beyond Nairobi. For the EU, there is a need to explore new approaches to finally unlock the long-lasting stalemate that threatens the crucial role of the WTO as a trade negotiating forum.
Malmström meets Ministers from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific, preparing WTO Conference – Trade – European Commission