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Johnson Smith calls on WTO to address concerns of Least Developed Countries

Friday, November 08, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith is calling for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to address the interests and concerns of developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at the Twelfth Ministerial Conference.

Johnson Smith was speaking at the Informal Ministerial WTO Meeting in Shanghai in her capacity as coordinator of the ACP Group in the WTO.

According to a release from the ministry, Johnson Smith reaffirmed the group's commitment to an “inclusive, transparent, predictable and rules-based multilateral trading system, with a development-oriented WTO at its core.”

She noted that dialogue was important to foster a revitalized and resilient multilateral trading system, and in this regard efforts should be made to achieve clear outcomes at the twelfth Ministerial Conference.

Pointing to agriculture as a crucial sector for developing countries, the Foreign Minister underscored the need for substantive work to address the imbalances in agricultural trade and the interests of the net food importing developing countries (NFIDCs), small vulnerable economies, resource poor developing countries, and LDCs.

The minister also called for increased engagement to strengthen the Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT) provisions in the WTO Agreements.

She added that, in upcoming discussions on S&DT, “the principles of inclusivity, transparency, development and particularly S&DT for developing countries and LDCs must be fully respected.”

The Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting was held on the margins of the Second China International Import Expo (CIEE) in Shanghai on Tuesday.

Prior to this meeting, the minister participated in a ministerial luncheon at which she spoke on Jamaica's on-going national efforts at investment facilitation.


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