Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia
Ottawa
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Ambassade de la RÉpublique d'Indonésie

Optimism of the WTO MC9: WTO Member Countries Continue to Strive for Bali Success

Bali, 3 December 2013 –The 9th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (WTO MC9) was opened by the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono today (3/12). Taking place in Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Bali, this meeting will be held from 3 to 6 December 2013.

As host of MC9, the Indonesian Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan will play the role of Chair in this meeting. The meeting was attended by the Director General of WTO, Roberto zevedo, and 2,710 other delegations, including 142 heads of delegations representing 159 WTO member countries. Apart from that, also present at this meeting were 693 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), 217 people from the media, and 25 observers.

“The Ministerial Conference in Bali is the summit of one of the most intense negotiating period in Geneva since the launch of the Doha Development Agenda 12 years ago. Success in Bali is certainly very crucial,” the Trade Minister emphasized in his address during the opening ceremony today.

The Trade Minister stated that WTO member countries have a rare opportunity to show the world that the WTO is still relevant and its members are able to set aside differences for the sake of the world’s collective economic interest.

The last WTO Ministerial Conference was held in 2011, and delegations will make the most of the current meeting to review the work that has been done since then. Prior to this meeting, delegations have also negotiated in Geneva, which resulted in a concept of agreement to be finalized in Bali.

In his opening remarks, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that the significant advancements that negotiators had reached in Geneva in identifying results could break the deadlock of the Doha Development Agenda. “Now, as all the ministers responsible for trade have convened here, we must get the most out of our strong political will. We must place programs that will yield in what the world has been waiting for. Furthermore, we should all demonstrate more flexibility for the sake of the WTO, our economies, and the people of the whole world,” added President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Trade Minister also stated, “We hope that the Ministers can consider and decide on several main issues and agreement concepts that are the results of negotiations of the last few months.”

One of the main issues is the Bali Package that covers several important aspects within the Doha Development Agenda, including trade facilitation, agricultural elements, and pro-development initiatives.

Trade facilitation will streamline the flow of goods across borders by reducing the time, cost, and administrative uncertainty in the international trade process. Fresh flexibility in agriculture will enhance the life quality of farmers in developing countries, as well as promote food security and poverty alleviation in rural areas. Meanwhile, development will increase the ability of developing countries to maximize results from trade.

“Success of the WTO MC9 in Bali can reinvigorate the Doha Development Agenda that has reached an impasse in concluding a significant agreement. Therefore, I call all of you to participate in creating a successful MC9 Bali!” the urged Trade Minister.

During the occasion, Director General of WTO Roberto Azevedo also echoed similar optimism. “I am sure that the beauty of this place and warm welcome of the Indonesian people will have a positive effect on our work over the coming days,” he stated.

Other than that, on behalf of the 159 member countries, the WTO Director General expressed his gratitude to Indonesia for hosting the WTO MC9 and providing tireless support to ensure the success of this conference.

Source: www.kemendag.go.id, Tuesday 3 December 2013