Bali? It was just the start WTO chief says in New Year speech

15 January 2014

Bali is just the start of developing multi-national commerce, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) director-general, Roberto Azevedo, has told a diplomatic seminar in Lisbon (January 6) in his first major public speech since the Bali agreement.


In a talk entitled Trade Multilateralism in the Twenty-First Century, Mr Azevedo said that global governments now needed to build new negotiations and ‘multilateral outcomes’ from the foundations laid down in the ground-breaking Bali agreement.


He said that important lessons had been learnt in developing the Bali agreement – which could so easily have failed – and these set the tone and framework for the work that lies ahead.


These, he said, included that the WTO needs to:


  • Be ready to be creative and keep an open mind on new ideas.
  • Remember that development must remain the central pillar of its            efforts.
  •  Explore news ways of making headway on the most difficult negotiating topics.
  • Be realistic.
  • Maintain a sense of urgency.



He said: “The task of strengthening the multi-lateral system and moving towards delivering of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) will be difficult but not impossible.


”Many did not believe that we could deliver in Bali, and with good reason but we did and we can do more. Bali is just the start.”

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