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Source: Ministry of Economic Development (Russia) – An important disclaimer is located at the bottom of this article.

The 13th Ministerial Conference (MC-13) of the WTO in Abu Dhabi, after five days of intense negotiations, ended with the adoption of a final declaration. Among other things, it confirms the commitment made at the last conference to agree on reform of the dispute resolution system during 2024. “According to the general declaration of ministers, we consider our tasks completed. We prevented attempts by our opponents to legalize the use of trade barriers under the slogans of climate and environmental policy. This does not mean that attempts will not continue. Obviously, in the next two years, this topic will become one of the main lines of tension in Geneva,” the head of the Russian delegation, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maxim Reshetnikov commented to reporters.

Also, according to him, it was possible to convince opponents to extend the moratorium on collecting duties on electronic transmissions until the next conference, although in the future this topic may require new approaches.

Another significant result of MK-13 was the conclusion of a plurilateral investment agreement. It was signed by 123 WTO members (there are currently 166 members in the organization), including Russia. A number of countries do not yet allow it to be formally included in the body of WTO law. “But broad support shows that the emergence of uniform multilateral rules in the field of investment is a matter of time,” the minister noted.

In addition, the WTO gained two new members – East Timor and the Comoros Islands joined the organization.

At the same time, WTO countries have not yet been able to reach consensus on the two most pressing agenda items – the program for future negotiations in the agricultural sector and fishing subsidies. “If agreements on the first topic were practically unattainable at this conference, then on the second, we were close to success,” commented Maxim Reshetnikov. “Almost the entire text was agreed upon. The stumbling block was the volume of benefits that developing countries were fighting for,” he explained.

Negotiations on both topics will continue in the next two years until MK-14, but from different starting positions, the head of the Russian delegation clarified. “There is a text on fishing subsidies to a high degree of readiness. In agriculture, despite the fact that all the problems are long-standing, the approaches to solving them are so polar that points of contact are not yet visible,” he stated.

The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of the WTO, which meets every two years. The 13th Ministerial Conference opened on February 26 in Abu Dhabi, chaired by Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

Note; This information is raw content directly from the source of the information. This is exactly what the source states and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

Please note; This information is raw content directly from the information source. It is accurate to what the source is stating and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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