World News – GB – Statement by UK to WTO Trade Negotiations Committee


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The Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the WTO in Geneva, Andy Staines, delivered the following statement to the WTO Trade Negotiations Committee on October 12, 2020

Thank you very much, Mr President and thank you very much to you and your fellow Deputy DGs for your leadership during this period of transition

Mr Chairman, in the face of continued uncertainty over COVID-19, the UK commends the Secretariat for the steps it has taken to allow the work to continue, while ensuring the safety of staff and delegates This has enabled our work to progress in an inclusive manner despite an evolving situation in Geneva and in the capitals

The UK would like to reiterate the importance of moving forward with ongoing work in the WTO, including efforts to restore a fully functioning dispute settlement system as soon as possible
The UK welcomes Members’ engagement on the draft consolidated fisheries subsidy text circulated by Ambassador Wills as a basis for developing effective disciplines

We have strongly supported the Joint Initiative on Electronic Commerce since its inception We welcome the resumption of monthly negotiating sessions in small groups and in plenary, and we stand ready to intensify our efforts to reach a negotiating text consolidated by year end The pandemic has shown us that digital commerce is at the heart of the global economy – and will continue to be of fundamental importance as we seek to rebuild better after this crisis We must ensure that this initiative produces an outcome that benefits developed, developing and least developed members

The UK has actively participated in the revitalized efforts on Joint Initiatives on Domestic Regulation of Services and Facilitation of Investment for Development On domestic regulation, we urge members to re-energize their efforts to resolve the issue. small number of issues remaining We look forward to working with Members to finalize the draft background paper by the end of the year and encourage others to join this important initiative We also welcome the shift to negotiation mode in the facilitation of investment for development, which demonstrates Members’ commitment to advance this initiative.

Finally, on MSMEs, the UK thanks the facilitator and the Secretariat for further progress on the texts made since the start of the summer As MSMEs represent 999% of UK businesses, we strongly support this initiative, and we hope for an ambitious result in December

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News from the world – GB – UK statement to the WTO Trade Negotiations Committee


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