Liberia Advocates Convergence on Trade Issues, Co-chairs Launch of g7+ Accessions Group and Calls on the WTO to support the Incoming Administration

Minister Addy, Deputy Minister Stephen Marvie, Jr. and others at the Conference
Minister Addy, Deputy Minister Stephen Marvie, Jr. and others at the Conference
Photo Credit: Minister Marvie

Tuesday – Buenos Aires, Argentina 12 December 2017, Liberia joins 164 countries to participate in the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO from 9 December to 13 December. The Conference, MC11, presents a defining moment for the organization as Members push for declaration on Doha Negotiating Issues, such as, Agriculture, Cotton, Development – Special and Differential Treatment, Fisheries Subsidies, Domestic Regulation in Services, as well as Non-Doha Issues, such as, e-commerce, Investment Faciltation, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise.

 

In line with the WTO support to least development countries, the Sxth China Round Table on WTO Accessions was held on the margins of the Ministerial. The Round Table which was themed “Strengthening the Rules-Based Multilateral Trading System and Building a Network to Promote Accessions”, showcased Liberia’s accession experience. As a panelist, Honorable Axel M. Addy shared experiences on what is now known as “The Liberian Model of Accession.” At the end of the Round Table, Liberia participated in the launch of the book “Trade Multilateralism in the 21st Centery: Building the Upper Floors of the Trading System through WTO Accessions.” The book features a chapter on Liberia’s accession. An Accession Network Directory was also shared at the Round Table. The directory featured some prominent Liberia’s negotiators: Honorable Commerce Minister Axel M. Addy, Deputy Minister Stephen Marvie, Deputy Commissioner Decontee King-Sackie and Assistant Commissioenr William Buku.

 

Liberia also shared its experience of projects supported by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) at the EIF High-Level Dialogue: Investing in Trade in the LDC. Along with Afghanistan, Liberia co-chaired the Launch of the g7+ WTO Acessions Group – a group that promotes the trade agenda of fragile and post-conflict states and those acceding to the WTO. At the Ministerial, Liberia particpated in several side events and meetigngs, prominent among them, were the meetings with the heads of delegation, Director General Roberto Azevêdo of the WTO, the Swedish Trade delegation and several informal meetings with other delegations. The head of delegation, Honorable Axel M. Addy, used those occassions to call for convergence in the negotiations and fast track the conversations for a successful MC11. Liberia admonished Members to continue to negotiate their issues using the strucutres and principles of the WTO and called for support to the incoming administration. Liberia also particpated in the ITC events, SheTrades, learning from the experiences shared by other countries promoting women traders.

 

The Honorable Minister of Commerce and Industry, Honorable Axel M. Addy headed the Liberian delegation to MC11. Other members of the delegation were Honorable Stephen Marvie, Jr, Deputy Minister for Commerce and Trade Services, Honorable Paul Tate, Head of Mission, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations Office and other international organizational organizations at Geneva, Special Assistant to the Minister, Ms. Anna A. Scott, as well as, two Overseas Development Institute interns, Eliot Faron de Goër and Ben Beuchel.