WTO backs UAE trade move
Dubai, November 30, 2008
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) members have expressed significant interest in a UAE initiative to liberalise the trade in raw materials during discussions on the non-agricultural products market, also simply referred to as 'NAMA'.
The UAE representative office to the WTO organised a meeting in Geneva attended by delegates from the largest countries and regions interested in raw materials as strategic commodities, including the US, the European Union (EU), Brazil, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Russia, among others.
The EU has the world's largest share of trade in items covered by the raw material sector. The EU's participation in the Geneva meeting was a clear signal of its willingness to participate in the sectoral initiative on raw materials.
This initiative was launched for the first time in May 2003 in the Doha Development Round and was widely supported by a number of WTO members; so far, 50 countries have discussed its viability.
During the recent talks, participants emphasised that the UAE proposal has many advantages and economic benefits for both developing and developed countries.
The UAE in turn has expressed satisfaction with the growing interest in this initiative, especially as there are a number of other sectoral programmes which are currently being negotiated under 'NAMA'.
The UAE's proposal has recently been supported by countries that comprise 90 per cent of the total world trade in raw materials, thus satisfying a WTO prerequisite to endorse the initiative.
“In light of the current financial crisis and the rising of commodity prices, it is necessary to focus on the liberalization of trade in raw materials, because it is the engine of the global economy,” said director of the office of the UAE at the WTO in Geneva Obaid Saif Al Kindi. – TradeArabia News Service