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Zambia Optimistic as WTO Ministerial Conference Kicks Off in Abu Dhabi

Zambia is among the nations eagerly participating in the Thirteenth World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, expressing optimism for positive outcomes from the discussions.

Running from February 26th to 29th, 2024, MC13 serves as a crucial forum for global leaders, ministers, and senior officials to deliberate on international trade regulations and policies.

Building upon the achievements of the previous conference, MC12, held in Geneva in June 2022, MC13 aims to further progress on critical issues such as fisheries subsidies, food security, e-commerce, and enhancing access to the global trading system, particularly for developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

During a High-Level side event focused on the future of Aid for Trade and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), Zambia’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mrs. Lillian S. Bwalya, expressed Zambia’s positive outlook regarding the conference’s potential outcomes.

Mrs. Bwalya emphasized the significant role played by initiatives like Aid for Trade and the EIF in fostering trade development in LDCs, highlighting their impact on job creation and economic empowerment, particularly for vulnerable groups like women and youth.

Commending the United Arab Emirates for its commitment to supporting trade development, Mrs. Bwalya joined other speakers in applauding the allocation of USD 4 million towards the EIF funding basket.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala underscored the importance of increasing Aid for Trade, especially for small businesses, to facilitate their integration into global supply chains.

She emphasized the pivotal role of Aid for Trade in promoting inclusive participation in world trade and urged multilateral development partners to step up efforts to bridge the finance gap between demand and supply.

Additionally, she encouraged LDCs to continue implementing reforms to create more conducive environments for trade and business growth.

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