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WTO members begin to prepare for the 12th meeting of the trade ministers


Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP

WTO members prepare for the 12th meeting of the trade ministers and discuss important issues. By fully accelerating the engine

On April 8, 2021, Ms. Pimchanok Pittfield, Ambassador of the Permanent Representative of Thailand to the World Trade Organization and World Intellectual Property Organization, revealed that WTO members are now preparing for a meeting of the Trade Ministers 12th (12th WTO Ministerial Conference Meeting) to take place on 30 November – 3 December 2021 in Geneva.

After receiving the new WTO Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the seventh WTO Director General from Nigeria, started his duties on the 1st day. March 2021

Pimchanok Pittfield

One of the main issues discussed for approval at MC 12 is fisheries subsidies. Electronic commerce matters On internal regulations of the service sector Reform of the dispute resolution process Special treatment in least developed countries Facilitating investment in agricultural products, health-related matters / vaccines And helping to accelerate the recovery of the world economy, etc.

In which many matters were discussed in advance But it still takes time to negotiate with each other for a while. Which the permanent delegation of Thailand Will summarize each important issue for further dissemination.

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One interesting point It is about action related to vaccines and health. The WTO Director-General has a working background related to vaccines. The idea is to act as an intermediary to connect vaccine manufacturers and countries where they need it.

Especially in developing countries Make an agreement on access to the vaccine thoroughly and on the terms that all parties can accept. Many developing countries, including Thailand It has the potential to be a base for producing vaccines for developing countries together. Therefore, we would like to have further discussions on investment in vaccine production by various companies.

In this regard, measures to prohibit the export of vaccines or a key component of vaccines It is part of the WTO Director-General deems that it may hinder the recovery of the world trade economy. Therefore calls on the countries that issue measures like this to be reviewed So that all parties have quick access to vaccines Which will lead to faster recovery of all countries

This meeting of the Minister of Trade. This is a testament to the willingness of WTO members to revive the role of multilateral organizations and regulatory systems to move forward. After facing problems from some big countries such as the United States where President Trump did not attach much importance to multilateralism.

Now President Biden has appointed a new USTR representative, whose work background is familiar with WTO rules and procedures, is likely to more or less interact with the WTO. In the US WTO, it is interesting to stay tuned.

Mrs. Pimchanok said that another interesting development in the WTO is the process of discussing some matters using a multi-party format. (plurilateral) instead of multilateral, especially those not in the mandate of current or modern negotiation, such as e-commerce, investment facilitation, etc.

Because some countries see that Most of the WTO trade rules that were negotiated in 1994 were the Uruguay Round. Unable to keep up with new economic developments and trade in both technology Modern business models Consumption / Working Method After COVID-19 has passed, world trade is believed to change for sure.

Hence, a “small nets” discussion has begun to provide a forum to discuss issues that most countries may not be ready to negotiate. But I do not want the WTO to fall, the world trade movement that is moving into a new era. By this approach for discussion may be another option to update some rules, it is possible. In which Thailand will consider participating in the discussion by considering the interests of the country as the principle as has always been practiced.



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