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Statement by Mr. Roberto Azevedo at the 94th meeting of the Development Committee held on October 8, 2016 (English)

This is a statement by Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization at the ninety-fourth meeting of the Development Committee held on October 8, 2016. He states that in 2016, global trade growth is likely to hit its lowest level since the financial crisis. Trade growth is below GDP growth for the first time in 15 years. Since trade played such a crucial role in achieving the MDG goal of reducing extreme poverty by half ahead of schedule, this is a worrisome development. The post-2015 sustainable development goals will be more difficult to achieve without stronger growth in trade. A further cause for concern is that growing anti-trade rhetoric being expressed in many quarters could suggest a shift toward a more protectionist stance.We need to remember that the world has done better by opening up to trade and by adopting global rules. In the last decades, faster GDP growth in developing countries has allowed convergence with developed countries. Trade has played an important role in tackling poverty and boosting development. WTO commitments have helped to create the predictable environment that is conducive to growth. The WTO wishes to commend the efforts that the World Bank Group has taken in supporting trade related infrastructure through the Aid-for-Trade initiative. Finally, we welcome the steps that the World Bank Governors and senior management have taken to support implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement through the Trade Facilitation Support Programme. We urge ministers to continue to give a high priority to the better integration of developing countries into the multilateral trading system and to voice their support for WTO agreements and negotiations.

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Statement by Mr. Roberto Azevedo at the 94th meeting of the Development Committee held on October 8, 2016 (English). Development Committee Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/230491476210125597/Statement-by-Mr-Roberto-Azevedo-at-the-94th-meeting-of-the-Development-Committee-held-on-October-8-2016