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Deputizing for His Majesty the King: Minister of Trade and Industry Inaugurates WTO-Arab Consultation Forum at TAG- Forum

19-Feb-2013 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 5134
Special to ag-IP-news Agency

AMMAN - Under the Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, the World Trade Organization (WTO)-Arab Consultation Forum was inaugurated at Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Forum. The Forum was attended by HE Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO, HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, EPDF’s chairman and member of the WTO Expert Panel for Defining the Future of World Trade (WTO-EP) as well as a number of Arab ministers and delegates, ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions to the Kingdom, representatives of economic bodies, businessmen and stakeholders. The Forum was organized by the Economic Policy Development Forum (EPDF) and the opening session was moderated by Vice-chairman of EPDF HE Dr. Jawad Anani.

Deputizing for the King, HE Mr. Hatem Halawani, Jordan's Minister of Industry and Trade inaugurated the Forum where he conveyed the greetings of the King and his wishes for the Forum to succeed. His Excellency welcomed the ministers and delegates, and thanked Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum for their strenuous efforts in formulating economic and development visions that are characterized by the professionalism and qualitative addition to achieve comprehensive development.

He said that the deep transformations in the global economy require all countries to work together to comply with the multilateral trade system. He also added that there are a number of requirements and challenges to be met by the countries wishing to accede to the Organization, and this requires that the economic reform continues and the necessary technical support mechanisms are made available. The Minister explained that Jordan acceded to the Organization and expanded its trade relations with the world countries.

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh Speech

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh delivered a speech where he congratulated the Jordanian people for opening the present session of the Parliament. Dr. Abu- Ghazaleh also expressed his thanks and gratitude to the King for his patronage of the Forum.

He welcomed the ministers, delegates, ambassadors, and media people saying:"We meet today as concerned experts and stakeholders in a free and open discussion forum."

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh called upon the Palestinian delegation to open dialogue with Mr. Lamy to finalize the procedures of Palestine accession to the WTO, expressing hopes that Sudan would achieve the same.

Pascal Lamy Speech

In his speech, Mr. Lamy said: “These are challenging times for the Arab region and for the world.  We are still in the midst of a global economic crisis, and the Arab world is seeing unprecedented changes. In these turbulent times, strengthening the institutions of global governance that are at our disposal - and which took so many years and two World Wars to create - is as vital for trade as it is for any other area of international policy making.  Strengthening the Arab world's presence in these institutions - and anchoring it firmly in the rule of international law - is equally critical to assisting the Arab region in bridging these difficult times safely. In obtaining the WTO's seal of approval, the Arab world sends a message of economic safety both to the world at large, and at home. That seal must be fought for; that seal must be preserved.

“The Multilateral Trading System, which arose out of the ashes of the Second World War, is a key pillar of the global governance architecture.  But to preserve it, we cannot simply take it for granted.  Rather, we must put our minds to work. 

In this event, I hope that you will join me in a reflection on what international trade might look like 10, 20, or even 30 or 40 years from now, and on how the WTO can best adapt to change and continue to serve your interests.   The WTO is an instrument of global economic integration - and this is how you must put it to use.  Let us reflect together then, throughout the course of the day, on how we can make Arab integration happen through the WTO in today's world, but also in tomorrow's.” 

Dr. Al Kuwari Speech

Qatar's Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, and head of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII) HE Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari delivered a speech where he congratulated the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting the Forum, and he commended Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Knowledge Forum and Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University for their work and efforts.

The Qatari Minister emphasized the necessity to intensify the mechanisms and initiatives to enhance the Arab environment trade, including the support of investment as a means to intensify such trade, enquiring about the method to better prepare ourselves to face the future explaining that UNCTAD is an important means to benefit from the available events and bodies pointing out that it should be a bridge between Geneva-adopted speech and the discussions in New York on the global issues.

Al Kuwari explained that the negotiation on the trade must continue within the frame of the WTO, and the UNCTAD must play an important role on this regard.

Arab ministers and heads of Arab delegations held discussions chaired by HE Mr. Halawani, Mr. Lamy and HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh.

The Forum served as a platform for exchanging views between the WTO represented by its Director General, Mr. Lamy and WTO-EP represented by its member HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh on one part and decision makers and stakeholders in the Arab world on the other. It also presented the various views and interests of Arabs to propose them for the upcoming ministerial conference.
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