Monday 14 October, 2019

Gopee-Scoon advocates for small economies at WTO

There’s a need for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to adopt a pragmatic approach that takes due cognizance of the unique issues of Small and Vulnerable Economies (SVEs). 

Speaking at Trinidad and Tobago’s Fourth WTO Trade Policy Review in Geneva, Switzerland, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the country is deeply committed to the negotiating process under the WTO and recognises that its successful conclusion will bring benefits to all members.

She said the country is bound to a fair and equitable rules-based multilateral trading system which is supportive of the development pursuits of its members.

However, Gopee-Scoon stated that greater access to development resources would benefit smaller economies. 

“We believe that a more focused approach to the provision of technical assistance will increase our capacity to participate meaningfully in the multilateral trading arena. Therefore, Trinidad and Tobago supports the mobilisation of additional predictable, sustainable and effective financing.”

Citing implementation of the National Development Strategy 2016-2030 – Vision 2030 and supporting plans and policies including the National Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy, and ongoing trade policy initiatives at the bilateral and multilateral levels including the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the Minister stated, “We have no doubt that we can achieve our objectives with the further guidance and support of WTO Members.” 

Gopee-Scoon also cited completion of the draft national Trade Policy 2019 – 2023, developed in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which is geared towards advancing the country’s economic growth and diversification objectives.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Fourth World WTO Trade Policy Review provides for the WTO membership to examine Trinidad and Tobago’s trade policies and practices, as well as, its commitments under the WTO and other trade agreements.

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