WTO meeting calls for more flexible trade rules
Updated: 2013-12-04 13:58
BALI, Indonesia - Ministers have agreed to be flexible on trade regulations for developing countries, European Union Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht said here Wednesday.
"We have reached agreement on the flexibilities available to developing countries," De Gucht said when delivering a speech at the plenary session of the Ninth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference.
Regarding trade facilitation which is one of the three main topics of WTO negotiations, he said the ministers "have a recipe for success" when combining the trade facilitation package with the support pillars.
De Gucht also asserted the vital importance of this conference for the WTO. "There is a consensus to put the WTO back at the center of trade policy, he said, adding that "there should be no mistake that the fate of the entire WTO is at stake."
The WTO started its ninth ministerial conference on Tuesday afternoon in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, struggling to revive the long-stalled Doha Round by reaching a possible trade deal at the four-day meeting.
Trade chiefs of the WTO's 159 members is working to break trade impasses and finalize a package of global trade agreements that mainly cover trade facilitation, development and agriculture, in a bid to pave the way for future completion of the Doha Round.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said earlier this year that China is a staunch supporter of the multilateral trade mechanism, and will continue to be a responsible member of the WTO.
Xi said the multilateral trade mechanism, with the WTO at its core, laid the foundation for trade liberalization and facilitation. China urges WTO to play a bigger role in safeguarding and consolidating a multilateral trade mechanism.