Regional Meeting of The Islamic Development Bank Members Countries, In Preparation of The 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting

Abidjan, 14 – 16 September 2015

Introduction

In preparation of the 10th WTO Ministerial Meeting to be held in Nairobi in December 2015, and in line with its activities, IDB has brought its technical assistance to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to organize a preparatory meeting. To this end, IDB has invited for this preparatory meeting held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 14 to 16 September 2015, one high level participant of each of the 26 members of African States (list of participants attached).

The objective of the meeting was to :

  • Give to the participants the opportunity to analyze and discuss questions on the Doha Round, in light of the agreement concluded at the 9th Ministerial Meeting of Bali
  • Discuss matters which can be included in the agenda of the 10th Ministerial Meeting in Nairobi, and the means to coordinate the positions for a better defense of the common African countries interests
  • Analyze the challenges the Africans countries are facing in the implementation of the trade facilitation agreement, and discuss the means to overcome these challenges
  • Take a critical look to the implications of these regional trade agreements on a perspective of regional integration of the African countries

Proceedings

The opening session was marked by a recitation from the Holy Quran, and two speeches delivered by the IDB Representative and the Representative of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, who officially declared open the meeting. The agenda is attached

Conclusions and Recommendations from the meeting

A) Bali Package

Participants agreed that Africa has been a major contributor to the Bali Package, in various ways:

  • The efforts to build a LDC+ instead of an TF+ package failed due to disagreements by (African) LDCs on the issue of Duty Free Quota Free
  • Some African countries consider the TF Agreement a good agreement in itself offering adequate flexibility and the promise of technical and financial assistance.
  • African Group was among the Groups that asked the Director General ‘to do what it takes’ to come to an agreement in Bali in order to ‘save the system’
  • African Group agreed not to have an outcome on Special and Differential Treatment (paragraph 44 of the Doha Declaration)

This should be taken into account at MC10 – Africa should get something. In negotiation terms, Africa mainly paid at MC9. Developed countries do not have to make any (major) adjustments to implement the Bali Package, in particular the TF Agreement. Africa should not be asked again to ‘save the system’.

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