Speaking today (Saturday) on his return from the World Trade Organisation’s
(WTO) 9th Ministerial Conference in Indonesia, Richard Bruton T.D.,
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation welcomed the historic
breakthrough in world trade negotiations that has been achieved.
The Minister said :
“What was agreed in Indonesia is globally significant. It will cut customs
red tape and bureaucracy, making it cheaper, smoother and quicker for
exporters to sell internationally. It is highly significant for
agriculture, trade facilitation and support for developing countries. It
will help provide food security for billions of people, while opening new
markets for less developed countries to sell more, helping their economies
grow and take greater strides in tackling poverty.
"This is the first time in the WTO’s 18 year history that it has concluded
a multilateral trade agreement across all 160 Members of the Organisation.
Following long years of stalled talks on liberalising world trade, the WTO
has proved with this ground-breaking agreement that it can deliver strong
momentum to the current round of global trade talks – the Doha Development
Agenda. This is a significant achievement for the WTO.
“This clearly shows that the WTO can deliver new trade rules to bring
economic opportunity and benefits to business - and ultimately jobs - in
developed and developing countries alike.”
Note for Editors.
The agreement among all 160 countries of the WTO sets a new path to
completing the Doha Development Agenda. It reenergises the commitment of
virtually all the world’s Governments to press ahead with finishing a round
of trade negotiations.
The Doha Development Round began in 2001 when the WTO started off a new
Round of trade liberalisation talks. Development was placed at the core of
the new Round, with the aim of addressing the development needs of
developing countries and especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
An agreement on Trade Facilitation will change customs procedures cutting
down the time it takes to pass goods through borders. It is estimated that
the savings from these changes could, in time, amount to almost $1
trillion. This would be an important boost to the world economy. The
agreement will be of special benefit to SMEs that find customs bureaucracy
most costly in time and resources. For Irish exporters, expanding into new
markets of developing countries will be made more straightforward as
customs rules made more clear and procedures become more streamlined. The
agreement foresees investment and technical assistance for LDCs to help
them with this modernisation process.
The agriculture package gives developing countries the right to introduce
food security policies in the form of public purchasing and stockholding of
food for poorer citizens. This is of huge significance to many countries
affected by the unpredictable climate change and the impact it can have on
fragile and basic agriculture sectors and where subsistence farming can be
so important to many millions that go hungry every day. The deal in
Indonesia will mean that developed countries will make it easier for
developing country farm produce exporters to access their markets in cases
where import quotas are persistently not filled.
New arrangements will also be introduced to boost trade opportunities for
Least Developed Countries – the development package of the agreement. This
includes new rules that will make it easier for developing countries to
sell services into the higher income developed world, rules that will lower
restrictions on exports to developed countries by allowing developing
countries to use more imported components in their exports – usually
referred to as Rules of Origin