Guy Parmelin attends G20 Ministerial Meeting on trade and investment

Bern, 12.10.2021 - On Tuesday, 12 October, President Guy Parmelin attended the G20 Ministerial Meeting on trade and investment in Sorrento, Italy. Against the backdrop of the economic and health crisis related to COVID-19, ministers agreed to strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system for a resilient, strong, sustainable and inclusive economic recovery and to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on international trade and investment.

On Tuesday, 12 October, G20 trade ministers held a meeting on trade and investment against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting, ministers discussed how the G20 can contribute to strengthening multilateral cooperation to improve the ability of the trading system to respond to public health emergencies and how these efforts could be translated into a concrete outcome at the 12th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva at the end of November. Ministers reaffirmed the importance of improving timely, equitable and global access to COVID-19 vaccines and other medical goods. In addition, trade measures at the border must be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary.

Ministers took the opportunity to reiterate the need for WTO reform to improve its way of working, in particular with regard to its role in negotiations and the dispute settlement system. With a view to potential outcomes at MC12, ministers addressed the issue of trade and the environment, with priority given to concluding negotiations on fisheries subsidies, which aim to prohibit sustainably harmful subsidies.

Mr Parmelin stressed the importance of open markets in the fight against the pandemic and the contribution that the WTO can make. A positive outcome on trade and health at MC12 is a priority to promote a collective and coordinated response to the pandemic. He also stressed the need to take into account sustainability objectives in international trade negotiations. The WTO needs to be better equipped to face the current challenges through the necessary reshaping of the organisation.

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