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The EU and the WTO | Geneva, 27 November 2014

’The WTO is back in business’ – statement by Cecilia Malmström, EU Trade Commissioner

’I welcome today’s decisions in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Trade Facilitation, public stockholdings for food security purposes and future trade negotiations.

This paves the way for implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement. Once in force, it will help developing countries better integrate into the global economy, intensify regional integration and lift millions out of poverty. The EU has already promised capacity-building and technical assistance to developing and least developed countries to help them implement the agreement.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement will streamline customs procedures across the globe, cut the time it takes to clear customs and increase transparency. That's good news for trade, for economic growth, and for development.

Today's decisions not only implement the landmark Bali agreements, they confirm the WTO's role at the centre of international trade policy. In short: the WTO is back in business.

All WTO members must now complete their internal ratification procedures so we can make sure the Agreement enters into force as soon as possible. For my part, I'll be taking the necessary steps shortly to ensure that the European Union is at the forefront of ratification efforts.

I am equally pleased about the results achieved regarding public stockholdings for food security purposes. The EU has always considered food security an international priority and has actively supported efforts to find suitable solutions in the WTO.

We now need to turn our attention to the rest of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations and preparing a work-programme by July 2015. The EU remains a strong believer in the benefits of the multilateral trading system and considers the conclusion of the DDA a strategic priority. It's 13 years since the launch of the negotiations and it's high time that the international community came together to agree on a work-programme to put us on a clear, realistic and credible path towards the conclusion of the Doha Development Round.

The EU and I personally will be actively engaged in pushing negotiations forward in Geneva in the coming months.'


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