In a statement to the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome on 19 November 2014, Deputy Director-General David Shark emphasized the critical importance of multilateral cooperation on nutrition. “The WTO remains more than ever fully committed to participate in and to contribute to this multilateral cooperation,” he said.
The seventh review of the trade policies and practices of Hong Kong, China takes place on 19 and 21 November 2014. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Hong Kong, China.
At the meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body on 18 November 2014, Brazil rejected the request by the European Union for a panel to study the dispute over taxation and charges applied by Brazil to the automobile, information technology and other sectors.
The WTO launched on 18 November 2014 a discussion forum on trade and development, the topic of the 2014 World Trade Report. The forum is intended to encourage an open discussion of what could be contained within a new generation of trade reforms for facilitating development.
Smaller economies such as New Zealand can benefit strongly from the platform that the WTO provides for negotiating agriculture, cutting red tape at the border and other issues, and for small and medium-sized enterprises, which do not have the same capacity to overcome barriers such as complex and differing systems of rules, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told an event organized by the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs at Victoria University, Wellington, on 18 November 2014.
The WTO Secretariat has circulated a meeting notice and list of items proposed for the next meeting, on 18 November 2014, of the Dispute Settlement Body, which consists of all WTO members and oversees legal disputes among them. The meeting notice is circulated in the form of a document officially called an “airgram”.
Gabon’s top trade official told a meeting of the Council for Trade in Goods on 17 November 2014 that it has concluded negotiations with WTO members on compensation for changes to the country’s tariff commitments resulting from its membership in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).
The government of Japan has donated CHF 312,019 to the WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund for 2014. This donation will finance a wide range of trade-related technical assistance activities to help developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) to participate effectively in the Doha round of negotiations and better integrate into the world economy.
On 17 November 2014, the WTO issued the panel report in the case brought by Viet Nam concerning anti-dumping measures applied by the United States to Vietnamese shrimp (DS429).
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Director-General Roberto Azevêdo today welcomed the strong commitment from G-20 Leaders to implement all elements of the Bali Package including preparing as quickly as possible a WTO work programme on the remaining issues of the Doha Development Agenda.
The WTO Agriculture Committee examined at some length the latest information on members’ domestic support and other farm trade policies on 13 November 2014, as news broke of a deal struck by the US and India allowing work to resume on decisions reached at the 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference.
Director-General Roberto Azevêdo today welcomed the news that the US and India have agreed on the way forward for implementing key elements of the package of agreements reached last December at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali.
Director-General Roberto Azevêdo today praised Chinese and US negotiators for reaching an understanding that paves the way to an expeditious conclusion of the expanded Information Technology Agreement. He said: “I strongly welcome the announcement of this breakthrough, which represents a significant step forward in the negotiations on an expansion of the ITA.”
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In a speech at the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Ministerial Meeting in Beijing on 8 November 2014, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo called for the support of APEC leaders to help deal with the impasse which “has shut down multilateral negotiations” at the WTO. DG Azevêdo said he was committed to doing everything possible to find a way forward for the Bali Package and the post-Bali agenda and would continue to discuss the situation with leaders at the G-20 summit in Brisbane later this week.
The exports of goods and commercial services from least developed countries (LDCs) increased by 5.2% last year but the total share of LDCs in world trade remains marginal, the LDC sub-committee heard on 6 November 2014.
Director-General Roberto Azevêdo is today (6 November 2014) travelling to Beijing, where he will be briefing APEC ministers on the current situation in Geneva and listening to their views on possible ways forward. After that, DG Azevêdo will travel to Australia to meet with the G-20 leaders. Throughout this period the DG will maintain close and regular contact with WTO members in Geneva with a view to overcoming the current impasse and making progress on all of the Bali outcomes.
Restrictive trade measures introduced by G-20 economies since 2008 continue to rise, according to the latest WTO report on recent trade developments issued on 6 November 2014. Given the continuing uncertainties in the global economy, the report stresses the need for countries to show restraint in imposing new measures and to eliminate more of the existing measures.
The emergence of major epidemics such as Ebola highlights the critical importance of inter-agency cooperation in addressing public health challenges, senior officials from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and World Trade Organization said on 5 November 2014.