Switzerland hosts an informal WTO ministerial meeting

Bern, 29.01.2021 - At the invitation of Guy Parmelin, President of the Swiss Confederation, a virtual informal ministerial meeting was held on 29 January on WTO-related issues. Among those taking part were ministers responsible for WTO affairs and WTO Deputy Director General Alan Wolff. The event was held in place of the traditional informal WTO ministerial meeting chaired by Switzerland on the fringes of the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos. Participants discussed trade policy challenges and priorities ahead of the twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference, particularly in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 29 January, 29 WTO Members representing a wide range of trade policy interests, took part in a virtual informal WTO ministerial meeting chaired by President Guy Parmelin.

Ministers covered a range of topics, first and foremost trade policy approaches to overcoming the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting supply bottlenecks. Against this backdrop, they discussed priorities for preparatory work ahead of the twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference, which had to be postponed to 2021 last spring due to the pandemic. Proposals for facilitating trade and reducing trade barriers regarding medical goods were also addressed. Participants underlined the importance of environmental aspects in trade policy. The ministers also discussed the important issues that need to be addressed in the negotiations on a fisheries subsidies agreement; the conclusion of these negotiations is a priority to ensure the long-term sustainability of global fisheries.

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