Qatar hails WTO role in multilateral agreements
Qatar, as an adherent to a 40-member group led by Switzerland, has hailed the important role that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and multilateral agreements play in stabilising the global economy and supporting its growth.
During its participation in the meeting of the General Council of the WTO held in Geneva, Qatar stressed its full support for WTO and multilateral agreements.
The 40-member group voiced concerns over growing trade tensions and the risks associated with the multilateral trading system and global trade amid recently increasing trade protection measures and countermeasures being taken by some countries.
The group called on all parties to resolve their differences through dialogue and cooperation within the framework of various WTO bodies.
Qatar is the only Arab country to join the 40-member group of the WTO, and was one of the founding countries of the organisation, which it joined in 1996. Qatar hosted the WTO Fourth Ministerial Conference in 2001, when the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), which is the centerpiece of the ongoing WTO negotiations, was launched.
The 40-member WTO group also issued a joint statement on May 8.
The co-sponsors of the statement, which include both developed and developing country members, said a well-functioning, rules-based multilateral trading system embodied in the WTO was of"key importance for our economies as well as for global economic stability, prosperity and development".
They also noted the marked recovery in world trade last year and the WTO's encouraging positive trade forecast for 2018 and 2019.
"However, we are concerned about increased trade tensions and related risks for the multilateral trading system and world trade," the group said.
"We encourage WTO members to refrain from taking protectionist measures and to avoid risks of escalation. We call on members to resolve their differences through dialogue and cooperation, including through WTO bodies and, as appropriate, recourse to WTO dispute settlement," they said.