18 September 2017

South Africa: Trade Ministers Meet in Ethiopia

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his Deputy Bulelani Magwanishe are today attending the informal meeting of African Union Ministers of Trade on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Ethiopia.

The meeting, which is jointly hosted by the African Union (AU) Commission and South Africa, is part of a series of preparatory meetings leading to the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December.

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said the meeting provides an opportunity for AU Ministers of Trade to consider recent developments in the negotiations at the WTO.

The meeting also aims to formulate positions on priority issues for Africa, as well as on new issues currently being proposed in the WTO, such as e-commerce and investment facilitation.

"The outcomes of this meeting are expected to coordinate African positions for the 3rd Mini-Ministerial WTO meeting scheduled to take place in Marrakech, Morocco, in October 2017," said the dti.

Monday's meeting follows the declaration adopted by the AU Ministers of Trade Meeting in November 2016, which re-emphasised the need to pursue integration and industrialisation to drive structural transformation across the African continent.

The Ministers also agreed on the need to ensure that the outcomes achieved at a multilateral level do not undermine the continent's development integration agenda, which includes market integration, industrial development and infrastructure development.

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