NATION

Koya Tells: Conference Needs to Deliver

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, yesterday made a statement on behalf of Fiji and also the Pacific World Trade Organisation (WTO) Members at the 10th
19 Dec 2015 14:42
Koya Tells: Conference Needs to  Deliver
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Siddiq Koya (speaking into microphone), at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: DEPTFO News

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, yesterday made a statement on behalf of Fiji and also the Pacific World Trade Organisation (WTO) Members at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

While underscoring the importance of WTO, he said that this would be the Ministerial Conference that needs to deliver on the Doha Development Agenda.

“After 14 years of negotiations, we had hoped that there would be something to take back to our people in the Pacific as a result of these negotiations. We want tangible benefits for our farmers, our fishermen, and those who are struggling to convert their entrepreneurial potential into economic reality through trade”, said the Minister

He raised concerns on behalf of the Small and Vulnerable Economies (SVE) Group that from those issues mandated under the Doha Development Agendaonly a few have been brought to the 10th Ministerial Conference as potential outcomes.

Out of those, even a smaller number of issues are of trade and developmental potential for Fiji and the Pacific.

He bemoaned the continued opposition to the improvements to specific agreements on special and differential treatment applying to developing countries other than least developed countries. He further expressed the difficulties being faced and the low ambition goal on disciplining fisheries subsidies.

He further emphasised that it is the small and vulnerable economies, including those in the Pacific are at most risk of being left behind by the multilateral trading system.

He indicated that economies, like Fiji and the Pacific Islands, most need the protection of a strong, effective and functioning multilateral trading system.  This is particularly so in view of the proliferation of regional trade agreements, which exclude small economies by and large and wherein the bounds of WTO rules are often exceeded, beyond their capabilities.

In conclusion, Mr Koya reminded the WTO membership that Fiji does not trade for the sake of trade itself. He further recalled that the very first agreement establishing the WTO acknowledged that trade and economic relations should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living, and that positive efforts must be designed to ensure that developing countries secure a share of the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development.

Source: Ministry for Industry, Trade and Tourism

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 



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