At the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires this week Malta issued the following statement on multilateral trading on behalf of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Working Group on Trade and Investment met in London on 26-28 September 2017. The Commonwealth provides vital technical and advocacy support to its member states on multilateral trade issues – implementation of multilateral trade agreements, participation in trade negotiations, including preparation for Ministerial Conferences. The Working Group considered a number of issues in relation to Commonwealth Trade and Investment. Inter alia, it recommended that the Commonwealth issues a statement in support of the multilateral trading system on the occasion of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10-13 December 2017.
The following is therefore being submitted on behalf of the 52 member states of the Commonwealth:
- Mindful of the adverse consequences of a global trade slow down and rising protectionism sentiment in the world economy
- Recognising the importance of international trade for job creation, boosting investment and economic development
- Reaffirming the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization
- Recognising the importance of the multilateral trading system for its member states and in particular for the smallest including island states, , most vulnerable, least developed countries and countries in sub-Saharan Africa to secure a share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development
- Reaffirming the previous statements and Communiques issued by the Commonwealth Head of Governments on the multilateral trading system
- The Commonwealth hereby expresses its strong commitment to a rules-based, transparent, and inclusive multilateral trading system as a foundation for economic development and growth
- Further, the Commonwealth expresses its determination to collectively work and collaborate with all member states with a view to achieving a successful outcome during the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in all areas of work which will strengthen the multilateral trading system and the world economy, leading to more trade, investment, employment and income growth throughout the world.