WTO fails to adopt Trade Facilitation Agreement
Last night’s failure to reach an agreement is highly regrettable. Everything we achieved in Bali may now unravel, putting multilateral trade negotiations on hold, said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
The Agreement on Trade Facilitation was reached at the ministerial meeting in Bali last December and scheduled to be adopted by 31 July. It was intended to be a significant step forward in removing global trade obstacles, especially for developing and small countries. The Bali Ministerial Conference was crucial for the WTO, but it was only the first step in convincing the world that WTO members could, after nearly 20 years, agree on and then implement substantive global trade reform.
‘This serious setback compromises the growth and development opportunities of the vast majority of both developed and developing countries on all continents. The solution is not to abandon the WTO, but to find ways of making it work. Norway reaffirms its commitment to the multilateral trading system and will continue to work hard to maintain and strengthen it,’ said Mr Brende.