WTO MC13: UAE activates EcoMark initiative with ICC, COP28 to boost global sustainable trade

The initiative aims to enhance the involvement of MSMEs in green trade
WTO MC13: UAE activates EcoMark initiative with ICC, COP28 to boost global sustainable trade
Part of the WTO MC13. (Photo Credit: WAM)

The UAE, as host of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Abu Dhabi, launched the EcoMark Global Framework Initiative in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Presidency of the 28th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP28), which was held in the UAE at the end of last year.

Read more: WTO MC13: SMEs in developing countries face annual funding gap exceeding $5.2 trillion, report says

Establishing internationally recognized sustainable standards

During MC13, Abdelsalam Mohamed Al Ali, UAE representative to the WTO, announced the EcoMark Global Framework Initiative. It aims to establish internationally recognized and cost-effective standards for sustainable products. The initiative seeks to achieve this by facilitating the establishment of trusted accreditation bodies in each country. These bodies will be responsible for assessing and certifying companies on their green credentials. The initiative will also provide a toolkit to assist companies in meeting the required criteria. The goal of the EcoMark initiative is to make global green accreditation accessible and affordable for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Enhancing the involvement of MSMEs in green trade

The COP Presidency and ICC will actively support the promotion of the EcoMark framework to global MSMEs, encouraging its widespread adoption to enhance the involvement of MSMEs in green trade. Their role will involve providing advice on standards development and exploring strategies to engage MSMEs. Furthermore, these supporters will explore opportunities to integrate EcoMark with existing and future initiatives aimed at making trade greener and more inclusive for MSMEs.

Addressing  a crucial gap in the global trade architecture

The EcoMark Global Framework initiative addresses a crucial gap in the global trade architecture. With the growing demand for eco-friendly products, there are new opportunities in the landscape of green trade. However, MSMEs face challenges in showcasing their green credentials due to high costs and complex processes, which often exclude them from participating in global green trade.

Establishing accreditation bodies for MSMEs

The new Framework Initiative will assist governments in establishing accreditation bodies and provide direct capacity building and training for MSMEs to attain and demonstrate their green credentials. This empowerment will enable MSMEs to access new markets, attract customers, and receive recognition for their sustainable production practices.

Abdelsalam Mohamed Al Ali said the UAE recognized the need for an inclusive and accessible green trade framework tailored for MSMEs to help them take advantage of the growing demand for sustainable products and adapt to the changing trade landscape. The EcoMark framework represents a significant step toward a more sustainable and inclusive global economy, he added.

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