Commerce Minister Participates In WTO Global Review For Aid For Trade 2017

Liberia's Commerce Minister, Hon. Axel M. Addy at the Conference
Liberia's Commerce Minister, Hon. Axel M. Addy at the Conference
Photo Credit: WTO

Calls for continued support for Aid for Trade as a vehicle that impacts the SDGs; seals commitment for continuation of support for Liberia’s Post Accession Plan (LPAP) and special project in the implementation of the National Export Strategy on Tourism.


Monrovia, Liberia, 17 July 2017, 10:00AM – Commerce Minister, Hon. Axel M. Addy arrived in Monrovia, after attending the World Trade Organization (WTO) Global Review for Aid for Trade 2017 from July 11-13, in Geneva Switzerland. This year’s review theme “ Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development looks at the supply side capacity and trade related infrastructure constraints of developing and least developed countries and how Aid for Trade can help advance the sustainable development goals.


Minister Addy as a special guest of the Director General, Roberto Azevedo, was invited to deliver a keynote address at the body where he spoke about the importance of continuous support for Aid for Trade as a vehicle that is supporting trade facilitation in countries like Liberia and leading to innovations particularly when it comes to micro, small, medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) for inclusive economic growth. He thanked the Director General and the WTO members and teams on behalf of Her Execellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and the people of Liberia, for their continuous support to mainstreaming trade in Liberia for economic transformation.


Minister Addy delegation comprised of Honorable Stephen T. Marvie, Deputy Minister for Trade Services, Hon. Paul W. Tate, Charge d’Affairs of the Liberian Mission in Geneva, Mr. Saye Vah, Liberian intern at the WTO.


While in Geneva, Minister Addy served as special guest of the Executive Director of the International Trade Center (ITC), Ms. Arancha Gonzalez where he addressed the Joint Advisory Group meeting along with other high profile guests including the guest of honor, Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs of the Gambia, Her Excellency, Aja Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang. There, Mr. Addy highlighted the partnership with ITC and their support in the development and publication of Liberia’s Trade Policy and National Export Strategies (Cocoa, Rubber, Fisheries, Rubber Wood, and Tourism) and the ongoing efforts to support projects in the tourism sector. Mr. Addy also highlighted the critical role ITC played in Liberia’s historic accession to the WTO. He thanked all of the partners that support the ITC and the ITC for the support to the government of Liberia over the years and called for continued support to the incoming administration in 2018.


Hon. Addy also served as a special guest of the Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework, Mr. Ratnakar Adhikari, where he also delivered a special statement highlighting the partnership with the EIF including EIF support to the initiative, the Liberian Marketplace that is impacting Liberian SMEs particular women and young people. In his remarks, he called for continued support to the EIF, thanked the EIF support to Liberia over the years and called for support to the new administration in 2018. Mr. Addy also participated in a number of panel discussions and media interviews in support of the EIF initiatives.


Hon. Addy’s visit was also marked with media interviews and a series of meetings with various partners including government of Sweden, UNCTAD, EIF, ITC, and the WTO technical teams, to ensure existing programs continue into the next administration. Hon. Addy also, as guest of the Accessions’ Division, delivered a statement of encouragements to currently acceding governments and a special address to the Working Party on the Accession of the Sudan.


Minister Addy concluded visit with meetings with the head of UNCTAD, Dr. Mukisa Kituyi where he thanked UNCTAD for its continued support and also invited him to participate in the upcoming SME Conference in November, which will focus on E-Commerce and ICT Innovations to support E-Commerce in Liberia. Subsequently, he met with the Director General, H.E. Roberto Azevedo where he thanked the DG for the continued support to Liberia during accession and now post accession and asked for continued support to Liberia’s effort to transform its business climate for the growth and transformation of the economy.


Hon. Addy concluded the mission with a technical meeting with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), and the International Trade Center (ITC) on a special project to be developed for committed funding to support the Liberia WTO Post Accession Plan deliverables under the tourism sector.