WTO MC13: UAE to gift trade for development platform to eight member nations

The new platform underscores the UAE's commitment to inclusive trade, empowering developing nations
WTO MC13: UAE to gift trade for development platform to eight member nations
Part of the WTO MC13

The UAE, as host of the 13th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference (WTO MC13), has revealed its plans to create the Trade for Development platform. This platform will serve as a technical assistance program, offering a range of free online tools to aid trade officials, negotiators, and policymakers from developing and least developed countries in enhancing their skills and capacity to engage in the complex and technical process of trade negotiations.

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

Commitment to inclusive trade

The introduction of this platform underscores the UAE’s commitment to inclusive trade, empowering developing nations to access and participate in the global trading system. This objective is central to the UAE’s role as the host nation of MC13.

During the Ministerial Conference, the UAE announced that it would gift the Trade for Development platform to eight WTO members: Ethiopia, Mozambique, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Comoros, Kyrgyzstan, and Barbados.

As developing countries and least developed countries strive to drive economic growth through increased bilateral trade, a major obstacle they face in successfully concluding trade agreements is a lack of technical capacity and expertise throughout the intricate process. This includes tasks such as developing feasibility studies and economic modeling, as well as formulating trade policies and negotiating free trade agreements.

Fostering sustainable development and trade

The Trade for Development platform, which is part of a broader range of initiatives designed to support sustainable development and inclusive trade, will feature a virtual library of content contributed by global trade and policy experts. This content will cover a comprehensive range of topics typically addressed in a trade agreement.

Comprehensive information access

The platform will also serve as an ever-available resource for officials from developing countries, providing them with the necessary information as they shape trade policies and negotiate trade deals. In addition to audio-visual content, the platform will offer analytical studies, economic modeling, trade agreement implementation plans, and various other tools and best practices that developing country officials can refer to while crafting sustainable and mutually beneficial trade agreements.

Enhancing international cooperation

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE minister of State, said the country is eager to share its successful experiences with various countries worldwide. He also underscored the UAE’s position as an active and influential member of the international community, highlighting its ongoing endeavors to enhance international cooperation for comprehensive development and sustainable growth.

Al Sayegh additionally stated that the UAE persistently introduces global initiatives with the objective of stimulating economic growth in developing and least developed countries. He further mentioned that this commitment is evidenced by the recent launch of the ‘Trade for Development’ platform, which aims to optimize the positive impact of foreign trade on comprehensive development in these countries.

Safeguarding developing countries’ interests

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE minister of State for Foreign Trade and MC13 Chair, highlighted the importance of strengthening negotiators’ capabilities to help developing countries create agreements that safeguard their best interests and support long-term, sustainable growth and job creation.

Furthermore, he added: “As a champion of trade’s power to accelerate development and raise living standards, the UAE believes that providing the materials to enhance the ability of countries across our region and around the world to participate in global trade benefits us all.”

The announcement was made during the 13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO. The event serves as the highest-level decision-making body for the organization, which holds the unique mandate to oversee and negotiate the rules governing international commerce.

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