WTO hosts tariffs workshop
Abu Dhabi, July 21, 2009
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has commenced a regional workshop aimed at training Arab officials on tariff negotiations, particularly those related to non-agricultural goods, GATT provisions and the Doha mandate.
The “Regional Workshop on Market Access Related Issues for Arab and Middle East WTO Members and Observers”, which opened yesterday (July 20) will run until July 22 at the Beach Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The workshop will bring together 33 participants from 12 countries, which are Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Syria, the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Tunisia and the UAE.
Juma Mohammed Al Kait, executive director – Foreign Trade Affairs, UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade (MoFT), discussed the challenges faced by Arab countries in coping with economic globalisation and addressing the global financial crisis.
He also emphasised the importance of fully understanding the nature of multilateral agreements and commended role of the WTO in maintaining commercial stability across the region and throughout the world.
“Valuable insights on market access principles as well as critical GATT (general agreement on tariffs and trade) and Doha development agenda issues will be discussed during the workshop,” said Al Kait.
“Our hosting of this important event reflects MoFT’s greater role in helping the Arab region enhance its trade knowledge and capabilities. It also affirms WTO’s strong support for commercial activities within the Middle East.”
Mahmood Sharif Mahmood, director of Foreign Trade Policies, MoFT, said: “Our transition into a new global economic order requires a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of market access.”
“We also have to be aware of the status of vital agreements such as GATT and the Doha Development Round and its unique effects on regional trade. This event will be of great help in enhancing the Arab bloc’s negotiating power and overall international commercial stature,” he added.
The UAE has been an active member of the WTO since 1996. Last year, the WTO named the UAE as one of the top 30 nations in the world and the leading regional economy in terms of global trade. – TradeArabia News Service