KATHMANDU, Dec 15 (Nepal Foreign Affairs) : An eleven-member Nepali delegation under the leadership of Minister for Commerce and Supplies Ganeshman Pun on Tuesday participated in the inaugural session of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) being held in Kenya.
This is the first WTO ministerial conference that is being held in Africa after the establishment of the WTO in 1995.
Inaugurating the conference, President of the Republic of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta welcomed all delegates for fruitful deliberations in Nairobi and urged WTO members to demonstrate necessary flexibility to deliver substantive outcomes under the Doha Development Agenda mandate in favour of developing and LDC country members.
The Conference was also addressed by Dr. Amina C. Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Kenya, the Director General of the WTO Roberto Azevedo, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, and Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, among others.
Minister Pun arrived Nairobi had reached Kenya on Monday evening on December 14. Soon after his arrival, the Minister participated in the Second Phase Pledging Conference of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) held under the joint auspices of the WTO and EIF Secretariat.
The Pledging Conference succeeded in securing 90 million US dollar funds from different donors to implement the EIF Second phase programme that seeks to enhance the trade capacity of the LDCs and building their export base.
Minister Pun on Tuesday held a meeting with Tofail Ahmed, Minister of Commerce and the Head of the Bangladesh Delegation to MC10, and exchanged views on issues of bilateral mutual interest.
During the bilateral meeting, Minister Pun recalled Bangladesh’s support to earthquake victims of Nepal following the devastating earthquake in April this year, and extended sincere thanks to the Government of Bangladesh for the good gesture of friendship and cooperation.
Minister Pun touched upon the difficulty faced by Nepal due to obstruction of cargo vehicles on the southern border, and the efforts to improve the current supply situation, particularly the supply of fuel and other essential commodities.
The two Ministers agreed to complete all bilateral trade and related agreements which are at various stage of negotiation as early as possible.
The Commerce Minister of Bangladesh described Nepal as a good friend of Bangladesh from the SAARC region, and assured Minister Pun that Bangladesh would be ready to cooperate with Nepal at all times.
The delegation of Nepal attended a LDC Trade Ministers’ Meeting held in the afternoon of 14th December in Nairobi on the margin of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference.
Delivering a statement in the meeting, Naindra Prasad Upadhaya, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies mentioned that in view of the continued marginalization of LDCs’ in the global trade, and growing vulnerabilities, WTO should pay special attention to address the needs and concerns of the LDCs in order to enable them to integrate in the world economy and take benefit from increased trade opportunities.
Upadhaya called upon WTO members to provide meaningful market access opportunities and capacity building assistance to LDCs to enhance their share in the global trade.
At the end of the meeting, the LDC Trade Ministers unanimously adopted a 31-point joint declaration containing LDCs priorities and concerns in the context of the tenth Ministerial Conference.