WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo held a series of meetings in Cape Town, South Africa, today to discuss recent WTO agreements and the future work of the organization. He met with the Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana, and the Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel.
The Director-General said:
“The outlook for the global economy is currently very mixed. Many countries, including South Africa, are being affected by low commodity prices and a number of other factors. In this context it is vital to ensure that the global trading system continues to support growth, development and job creation.
“The successful trade deals struck at the WTO’s Nairobi Ministerial Conference in December last year — and at the Bali Ministerial Conference in 2013 — show what we can achieve. Now we must work together to implement those deals, realize their benefits, and seek to be even more ambitious in the way ahead.
“South Africa has a long history in the multilateral trading system and has always played a central role in the WTO. With the organization now embarking on a debate which will shape future global trade talks, South Africa’s leadership will be more important than ever. This is an opportunity to ensure that the global trading system delivers even more, and that it continues to serve the development goals of the country, and the whole region.”
The Director-General also held meetings with representatives of the National Economic Development & Labour Council (NEDLAC) and the Chair of the Parliamentary Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee, Joanmariae Louise Fubbs MP, as well as some other members of the Committee.
He also gave an address at the University of Cape Town. The text on which the Director-General based his remarks is available here.