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WTO must deliver trade deals or change role – Kenya

Dec 21, 2015 During the 10th ministerial conference of the world trade organization held in Nairobi, trade ministers unanimously welcomed Liberia’s World Trade Organization membership deal.

While addressing the conference, Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for foreign affairs and international trade said:

“I would like to invite the Ministerial Conference to adopt the report of the Working Party as a whole in document WT/LCC/LBR/23 ; WT/MIN(15)/2 and the Addenda 1 and 2. I see no objection.”

According to analyst, the deal will help build confidence in the country’s weak economy that has suffered the scorch of the Ebola virus for over two years.

Speaking to this effect, Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the world trade organization said:

“WTO membership can have a big impact. It announces to the world that you are open for business. It shows your determination to attract inward investments. And it puts the power in your hands to use trade to create jobs, raise incomes, and improve people’s lives,”

The tough economic situation notwithstanding, President Ellen Sirleaf said the country was on its way to an economic revival.

“Although long and tough the road to accession has come with milestones of economic growth. Proudly, with over 12 unbroken years of peace and stability Liberia created a fiscal space by removing our external debt burden of 4.9 billion US dollars through the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) process. Domestic revenues increased by over 600 % at its peak, and substantial support to invest in Trade Facilitation infrastructure is being mobilized.”

During the conference, Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed voiced frustrations saying said the body had offered members very little value so far. Other African leaders expressed hope that a level playing field will be provided in global trade.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in his opening speech said:

“Africa’s farmers simply, simply cannot compete against heavily subsidized farmers in developed countries. In this connection, the Doha round of negotiations and agriculture provides us with the best opportunity to address the distortions and to align global trade with our development goals,”

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