Focus on exporting local goods says WTO boss
Doha, April 25, 2012
The lack of capacity to export locally produced goods and materials is an imperative concern that needs to be addressed to promote trade in the Arab region, said the director general of the World Trade Organisation.
Pascal Lamy outlined steps to facilitate greater inter-Arab region trade during a panel discussion at a session of the ongoing UN conference on trade and development in Doha.
The thirteenth quadrennial session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) is taking place from April 21 to 26 at Qatar National Convention Centre.
The event brought together leading economists and prominent members of the region’s business community to consider what lessons had been learned from the Arab Spring.
Pascal Lamy acknowledged the “timeliness” and “critical nature” of the discussion. He said: “The Arab Spring reminds us of one fundamental economic viable – unemployment remains a major social, economic and political challenge."
Noting that Arab states have “lagged behind” the rest of the world in employment levels for the last two decades, he said.
In his conclusion, Pascal Lamy called for private sector driven processes to shape trade policies, the reduction of bureaucracy as an obstacle to free-trade, and the efficient administration of trade through national development policies.
He said: “If this has worked elsewhere in the world, my conclusion is that it will work here too.”
Also speaking at the event was Hassan Khalifa Al Mansouri, executive director of Qatar Export Development Agency, who stressed on the need to “further the reach of Qatari exports”. – TradeArabia News Service