WTO reform requires commitment from all its members
Today, BusinessEurope published its key priorities ahead of the 12th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference which takes place from 30 November to 3 December in Geneva.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "This is crunch time for the WTO as we all expect to see a stronger and more effective organisation after the MC12, one that is able to develop and implement modern trade rules that respond to the needs of our societies. This requires commitment from all WTO members to deliver tangible results and make the necessary compromises to safeguard the future of the organisation.
A well-functioning WTO is essential for European business, as the WTO is the basis for our relationship with our two major trading partners China and the USA. We expect the WTO members will agree on a roadmap to update the WTO rulebook, including on industrial subsidies, sustainability, but also on digital economy. But of course, rules are only as good as they are able to be enforced. Therefore, we also need a functioning dispute settlement system."
BusinessEurope's priorities concentrate around four pillars:
- Advancing the reform of the WTO, in a comprehensive manner that extends to all core functions of the organisation, namely negotiating rules, monitoring and the resolution of disputes
- Launching a Trade and Health Initiative, showcasing how trade can be part of the solution to the current crisis and improve our resilience
- Achieve meaningful progress in the area of the Joint Statement Initiatives, e-commerce, domestic regulation in services and trade and environmental sustainability in particular
- Conclude an Agreement on Fisheries subsidies, delivering a key multilateral outcome