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Doha Development Agenda | Nairobi, 16 December 2016

We have to deliver for the world’s Least Developed Countries, Malmström tells world trade ministers

Speaking at the opening plenary session of the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference (MC10) in Nairobi today, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström called on delegates to focus on the proposals before them and move towards agreement. "The time has come to conclude this deal and there is no better place than Nairobi to do it," she said.

Despite WTO members' two years of intensive preparations for MC10, the EU is worried that the meeting will not deliver the sort of result hoped for following the last Ministerial Conference in Bali in 2013. As a strong supporter of the multilateral system, the EU is keen to see real progress on the fixed set of issues being discussed in the Kenyan capital.

Together with several other WTO members, ahead of the conference, the EU put forward a proposal for tackling agricultural export subsidies, export credits and similar measures. Such measures significantly distort international trade and disrupt local markets, so an agreement to get rid of them would greatly help developing countries and make international trade fairer too. The EU is also ready to back more beneficial rules of origin so that the Least Developed Countries can better integrate their economies into global trade.

Finally, the EU wants the Ministerial to agree on what to do after Nairobi. Malmström warned her fellow ministers that they could not simply repeat what they had been doing for the last 15 years and expect different results. "We need to approach the issues from a different direction and give them the full creativity of our minds," she said. She also noted that need to inject more dynamism into the organisation by starting to explore here the kinds of new trade issues that Members are negotiating in their bilateral and regional agreements.  

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10th World trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Nairobi – 15-18 December 2015