Roberto Azevêdo, director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), was unable to push for the conclusion of the Doha Round, but he spearheaded other achievements within that organization, including the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Firstly, the Doha Round is the most recent round of trade negotiations between WTO Members. It aims to achieve a major reform of the international trading system through the establishment of measures to reduce barriers to trade and of revised trade rules.
The work program covers some 20 areas of trade. The Round is also semi-officially called the Doha Development Agenda, as one of its fundamental objectives is to improve the trade prospects of developing countries.
The Round was officially launched at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference, held in Doha, Qatar in November 2001. The Doha Ministerial Declaration established the mandate for the negotiations, including those on agriculture, services and an issue. intellectual property, which had started before.
In his farewell statements to the General Council this Thursday, Roberto Azevêdo said: “We have achieved many achievements, but there is still much to do”
“The Trade Facilitation Agreement in Bali once again put the Organization on the map as a place for global trade standards development. It gave us confidence that the multilateral route was viable and that with sufficient political will and pragmatism, we could reach agreements of great value for trade, growth and development,” said Roberto Azevêdo.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement is the first multilateral trade agreement to be concluded since the WTO was established 20 years ago.
The Agreement is expected to reduce the total costs of trade by more than 14% for low-income countries and by more than 13% for upper-middle-income countries by simplifying the movement of goods across borders.
“In Nairobi in 2015, we managed to reap some important multilateral results. The elimination of agricultural export subsidies and the trade distortions they create has been a long-standing goal for many members. We expanded the Information Technology Agreement, reducing and eliminating tariffs on $ 1.3 billion of new generation technology products,” he said.