Role of WTO in Ensuring Stability, Transparency, and Predictability in International Trade

The 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) kicked off with a welcoming speech from Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Chair of MC13, emphasizing the crucial role the WTO plays in providing stability, transparency, and predictability for international trade. The conference saw the historic accession of the Comoros and Timor-Leste, both least-developed countries.

During the opening session, the Presidents of Comoros and Timor-Leste signed the respective Protocols of Accession to the WTO, with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also signing the agreements. The two countries will now seek ratification from their legislative assemblies and are set to become official members of the WTO 30 days after the acceptance of the Protocol.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi expressed confidence that the WTO membership will provide Comoros and Timor-Leste with stable economic frameworks for engaging with other nations, ultimately boosting trade, growth, and prosperity for both countries. Additionally, the MC13 witnessed a significant step towards ocean sustainability with the acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies by eight member countries.

The quick ratification of the agreement highlights a collective commitment to ensuring multilaterally negotiated outcomes are not only agreed upon but also implemented. The MC13 Chair commended the countries that ratified the agreement, including the United Arab Emirates, for their dedication to ocean sustainability and upholding multilateral trade agreements.

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