Tag Archives: pacific

ACP Trade Ministers demand ‘concrete outcomes’ at upcoming WTO MC11

Alicia Nicholls

Trade ministers and other representatives from the 79-member Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries added their voices to demands for ‘concrete outcomes’ at the upcoming World Trade Organisation’s Eleventh Ministerial Conference (WTO MC11). Preparations for the upcoming WTO MC11 was one of several topics discussed by ACP trade representatives at their 20th ACP Ministerial Trade Committee meeting held in Brussels on 18-19 October last week.

According to the press release from the meeting, the ACP representatives  reiterated the need for a development-friendly and robust MC11 work programme which recognized differences between developed, developing and least developed countries and whose outcomes were aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Reaffirming their commitment to the multilateral trading system, they also called for “inclusiveness, consensus and transparency in all WTO decision-making processes, as well as careful framing of any reform evaluation of the WTO to ensure that the interests of all countries are protected”. Guyana was chosen to be the spokesperson for the ACP Group at the Ministerial which will take place in Buenos Aires December 10-13, 2017.

In a speech delivered at the ACP meeting, the WTO’s Director General, Roberto Azevedo, acknowledged the important role ACP countries have played in shaping the WTO’s work.

Mr. Azevedo gave a brief status report on the WTO’s preparatory work for the upcoming Ministerial Conference, lauding the ACP countries for being at the “forefront” of these discussions. He noted that although there were some positive signs, the many gaps to bridge meant that there was still much work ahead with respect to the negotiations.  He further reiterated that in order to achieve concrete results in Buenos Aires, “more focused engagement and negotiation will be required to quickly identify areas of convergence”.

In the meeting which was chaired by the Hon. Carl Greenidge, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, ACP trade representatives also focused on several  other topics of importance to ACP countries’ trade, including enhancing trade among ACP countries and trade issues with the European Union (EU).

The ACP press release also notes that ACP representatives have committed to “increased integration, unity and solidarity” among ACP countries, including taking more “joint ACP approaches to trade and development”.

The press release from the ACP can be read here.

The WTO Director-General’s full speech can be read here.

Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B., is a trade and development consultant with a keen interest in sustainable development, international law and trade. You can also read more of her commentaries and follow her on Twitter @LicyLaw.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Text Finally Online!

Alicia Nicholls

At long last, the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has finally been revealed. The TPP creates a free trade area encompassing 12 Pacific-rim countries. It has been mired in controversy due to the secrecy of the negotiations and concerns by civil society groups about its intellectual property and investment provisions, as well as their potential impact on the environment, labour, access to medicines etc. In spite of this, several countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Colombia have expressed interest in acceding to the TPP. The agreement includes rules on new and emerging trade issues like e-commerce, the environment, telecommunications, financial services, investment, government procurement, state-owned enterprises,small and medium sized enterprises, and competition law.

A full month after the agreement’s completion on October 5th, the full text of the Agreement may now be accessed on the official website of the US Trade Representative.

For more in this TPP Article series, click here.

Job Opportunity: Trade Policy Adviser (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat)

Trade Policy Adviser (Aid for Trade)

Just came across this. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is seeking applications for a trade policy adviser (aid for trade).  If you’re interested, try to apply soon as the deadline is February 10th 2012.

Find more info at this link: http://www.aidboard.com/jobs/view/trade-policy-adviser-aid-for-trade?PHPSESSID=vdsd25rvlfj5cci58cavc4tl45.

Good luck! 🙂