Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Small, but Proportionally Significant Results Expected At WTO Summit

Photo: Rodger Bosch/MediaClubSA
Container ships in Cape Town harbour.

The Ninth Ministerial Summit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) opened in the resort Island of Bali, Indonesia, with the declaration of Indonesia's Trade Minister that the results expected may appear "small, but proportionally significant".

What has come to be known as a "Bali Package", trade negotiators across the world are to decide on what Roberto Azevedos, the new director-general of the WTO, described as a balance on the fate of WTO relevance to the world. There is indeed a sense of urgency in his tone when he called delegates to finish the deal "now and here".

"Members want a deal," he told delegates. "Well, now is the time to deliver. We are almost at the finish line."

An important element in the Bali Package is the support members are hoping to give to the accession of the least developed countries, such as Ethiopia. He sees that demand in customs reform is not enough, but there ought to be technical support to enhance their negotiating capacity.

It is what Ethiopian trade negotiators have come to Bali for, according to members of the delegation. A technical assistance, which could reach three million dollars, is under discussion with the WTO, under an enhanced framework arrangement.

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Africa and the WTO Summit 2013

Container ships in Cape Town harbour.

African trade ministers have agreed to support the package at the on-going World Trade Organisation's ninth Ministerial Conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia, in the interest ... Read more »