Having negotiated round the clock and concluding almost a day later than scheduled, the Member States of the WTO reached consensus during the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali tonight.
The 160 Member States agreed on a package including a new Agreement on Trade Facilitation which may contribute positively to growth and employment throughout the world. The package includes several decisions of importance to least developed countries. The package also includes a political commitment to show restraint in the use of export subsidies in agriculture, tariff quota administration and food security for developing countries, the final piece of the puzzle. The Bali package is a selection of issues from the broader negotiating round, the Doha Development Agenda, which was launched in 2001 and has seen little progress since 2008.
The greatest significance of the result in Bali is that it provides the momentum to resume the negotiations on the core issues of the Doha round; market access for agricultural goods, industrial goods, fish and services, subsidies and a revision of the WTO rules, says the Foreign Minister.