Global trade conference ends without progress

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Buenos Aires | Published: December 14, 2017 7:38 AM

The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has concluded here with a "disappointing" lack of results, Director-General Roberto Azevedo said.

 World Trade Organization, Ministerial Conference, Roberto Azevedo, WTO, Buenos AiresThe 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has concluded here with a “disappointing” lack of results, Director-General Roberto Azevedo said.

The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has concluded here with a “disappointing” lack of results, Director-General Roberto Azevedo said. In his speech on Wednesday during the closing session of the biennial meeting, Azevedo regretted the failure of the WTO’s 164 member-nations to reach “substantive agreements”, Efe news reported.

“Progress was going to require a leap in members’ positions. We didn’t see that. We need to do some real soul-searching,” he told the senior officials gathered in Buenos Aires. “There was commitment and effort to find genuine solutions, but insufficient results,” the conference chair, Argentina former Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, said.

At the same time, she pointed to the achievement of accord on a framework to discuss fishing subsidies. “Buenos Aires will be remembered as the conference where the fishing negotiations were launched,” she said. Missing from Wednesday’s final session was the voice of the world’s largest economy, as United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer left town the night before.

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