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Mr Lamy: WTO is working to mitigate impact of economic crisis on trade
Jan '09
Director-General Pascal Lamy - WTO
Director-General Pascal Lamy - WTO
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in remarks at the United Kingdom's Department for International Development on 22 January 2009, said that the WTO will soon issue periodic reports on global trade trends to facilitate members' discussions on coping with the economic crisis, and would be organizing further meetings on trade finance. He commended the Department for being “a global leader in promoting trade as an engine for growth and development”. This is what he said:

Let me begin by saying how happy I am for this opportunity to interact with you this morning. It occurred to me on my way here this morning that today's interaction will be a unique one. It will be unique in that I will be addressing and interacting with the converted. I do not have to convince you about the interdependence between trade opening and development.

I do not have to convince you that trade opening leads to development if the conditions are right, nor do I have to convince you that development is a pre-requisite for increased trade flows. The United Kingdom has long understood this interrelationship and DFID stands out as a global leader in advocating and actively promoting trade as an engine for growth and development.

It is this conviction that trade is good for development that motivated the majority of us in 2001 to push for a development round in the WTO. This was also based on the realisation that the multilateral trading system as it exists today contains, within its rules and disciplines, imbalances that continue to penalise developing countries, thereby limiting and frustrating their developmental aspirations. This objective to level the playing field and to provide developing countries with better conditions to enable them to reap the benefits of trade opening remains as valid today as it was in 2001 when the DDA was launched.

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